Proverbs 14 (The Message)

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1 Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home; Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick. 2 An honest life shows respect for God; a degenerate life is a slap in his face. 3 Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile; wise speech evokes nothing but respect. 4 No cattle, no crops; a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow. 5 A true witness never lies; a false witness makes a business of it. 6 Cynics look high and low for wisdom - and never find it; the open-minded find it right on their doorstep! 7 Escape quickly from the company of fools; they're a waste of your time, a waste of your words. 8 The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track; the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch. 9 The stupid ridicule right and wrong, but a moral life is a favored life. 10 The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an outsider at their celebrations. 11 Lives of careless wrongdoing are tumbledown shacks; holy living builds soaring cathedrals. 12 There's a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again - it leads straight to hell. 13 Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak. Sift and Weigh Every Word 14 A mean person gets paid back in meanness, a gracious person in grace. 15 The gullible believe anything they're told; the prudent sift and weigh every word. 16 The wise watch their steps and avoid evil; fools are headstrong and reckless. 17 The hotheaded do things they'll later regret; the coldhearted get the cold shoulder. 18 Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion; wise realists plant their feet on the ground. 19 Eventually, evil will pay tribute to good; the wicked will respect God-loyal people. 20 An unlucky loser is shunned by all, but everyone loves a winner. 21 It's criminal to ignore a neighbor in need, but compassion for the poor - what a blessing! 22 Isn't it obvious that conspirators lose out, while the thoughtful win love and trust? 23 Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table. 24 The wise accumulate wisdom; fools get stupider by the day. 25 Souls are saved by truthful witness and betrayed by the spread of lies. 26 The Fear-of-God builds up confidence, and makes a world safe for your children. 27 The Fear-of-God is a spring of living water so you won't go off drinking from poisoned wells. 28 The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following. 29 Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding; a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity. 30 A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones. 31 You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless; when you're kind to the poor, you honor God. 32 The evil of bad people leaves them out in the cold; the integrity of good people creates a safe place for living. 33 Lady Wisdom is at home in an understanding heart - fools never even get to say hello. 34 God-devotion makes a country strong; God-avoidance leaves people weak. 35 Diligent work gets a warm commendation; shiftless work earns an angry rebuke.
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