Proverbs 20 (The Message)

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1 Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome - a staggering drunk is not much fun. 2 Quick-tempered leaders are like mad dogs - cross them and they bite your head off. 3 It's a mark of good character to avert quarrels, but fools love to pick fights. 4 A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring has nothing to harvest in the fall. 5 Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within. 6 Lots of people claim to be loyal and loving, but where on earth can you find one? 7 God-loyal people, living honest lives, make it much easier for their children. 8 Leaders who know their business and care keep a sharp eye out for the shoddy and cheap, 9 For who among us can be trusted to be always diligent and honest? 10 Switching price tags and padding the expense account are two things God hates. 11 Young people eventually reveal by their actions if their motives are on the up and up. Drinking from the Chalice of Knowledge 12 Ears that hear and eyes that see - we get our basic equipment from God! 13 Don't be too fond of sleep; you'll end up in the poorhouse. Wake up and get up; then there'll be food on the table. 14 The shopper says, "That's junk - I'll take it off your hands," then goes off boasting of the bargain. 15 Drinking from the beautiful chalice of knowledge is better than adorning oneself with gold and rare gems. 16 Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger; beware of accepting what a transient has pawned. 17 Stolen bread tastes sweet, but soon your mouth is full of gravel. 18 Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get. 19 Gossips can't keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths. 20 Anyone who curses father and mother extinguishes light and exists benighted. The Very Steps We Take 21 A bonanza at the beginning is no guarantee of blessing at the end. 22 Don't ever say, "I'll get you for that!" Wait for God; he'll settle the score. 23 God hates cheating in the marketplace; rigged scales are an outrage. 24 The very steps we take come from God; otherwise how would we know where we're going? 25 An impulsive vow is a trap; later you'll wish you could get out of it. 26 After careful scrutiny, a wise leader makes a clean sweep of rebels and dolts. 27 God is in charge of human life, watching and examining us inside and out. 28 Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity. 29 Youth may be admired for vigor, but gray hair gives prestige to old age. 30 A good thrashing purges evil; punishment goes deep within us.
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