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Proverbs 15 (The Message)

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1 A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. 2 Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense. 3 God doesn't miss a thing - he's alert to good and evil alike. 4 Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim. 5 Moral dropouts won't listen to their elders; welcoming correction is a mark of good sense. 6 The lives of God-loyal people flourish; a misspent life is soon bankrupt. 7 Perceptive words spread knowledge; fools are hollow - there's nothing to them. 8 God can't stand pious poses, but he delights in genuine prayers. 9 A life frittered away disgusts God; he loves those who run straight for the finish line. 10 It's a school of hard knocks for those who leave God's path, a dead-end street for those who hate God's rules. 11 Even hell holds no secrets from God - do you think he can't read human hearts? Life Ascends to the Heights 12 Know-it-alls don't like being told what to do; they avoid the company of wise men and women. 13 A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day. 14 An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth; fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies. 15 A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song. 16 A simple life in the Fear-of-God is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches. 17 Better a bread crust shared in love than a slab of prime rib served in hate. 18 Hot tempers start fights; a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace. 19 The path of lazy people is overgrown with briers; the diligent walk down a smooth road. 20 Intelligent children make their parents proud; lazy students embarrass their parents. 21 The empty-headed treat life as a plaything; the perceptive grasp its meaning and make a go of it. 22 Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed. 23 Congenial conversation - what a pleasure! The right word at the right time - beautiful! 24 Life ascends to the heights for the thoughtful - it's a clean about-face from descent into hell. 25 God smashes the pretensions of the arrogant; he stands with those who have no standing. 26 God can't stand evil scheming, but he puts words of grace and beauty on display. 27 A greedy and grasping person destroys community; those who refuse to exploit live and let live. 28 Prayerful answers come from God-loyal people; the wicked are sewers of abuse. 29 God keeps his distance from the wicked; he closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people. 30 A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart, and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle. 31 Listen to good advice if you want to live well, an honored guest among wise men and women. 32 An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny; an obedient, God-willed life is spacious. 33 Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living - first you learn humility, then you experience glory.
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