Proverbs 19; Proverbs 20; Proverbs 21; 2 Corinthians 7

1 It is better to be poor but honest than to be a lying fool. 2 Enthusiasm without knowledge is not good; impatience will get you into trouble. 3 Some people ruin themselves by their own stupid actions and then blame the Lord. 4 Rich people are always finding new friends, but the poor cannot keep the few they have. 5 If you tell lies in court, you will be punished - there will be no escape. 6 Everyone tries to gain the favor of important people; everyone claims the friendship of those who give out favors. 7 Even the relatives of a poor person have no use for him; no wonder he has no friends. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot win any. 8 Do yourself a favor and learn all you can; then remember what you learn and you will prosper. 9 No one who tells lies in court can escape punishment; he is doomed. 10 Fools should not live in luxury, and slaves should not rule over noblemen. 11 If you are sensible, you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it. 12 The king's anger is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like welcome rain. 13 Stupid children can bring their parents to ruin. A nagging wife is like water going drip-drip-drip. 14 A man can inherit a house and money from his parents, but only the Lord can give him a sensible wife. 15 Go ahead and be lazy; sleep on, but you will go hungry. 16 Keep God's laws and you will live longer; if you ignore them, you will die. 17 When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back. 18 Discipline your children while they are young enough to learn. If you don't, you are helping them destroy themselves. 19 If someone has a hot temper, let him take the consequences. If you get him out of trouble once, you will have to do it again. 20 If you listen to advice and are willing to learn, one day you will be wise. 21 People may plan all kinds of things, but the Lord's will is going to be done. 22 It is a disgrace to be greedy; poor people are better off than liars. 23 Obey the Lord and you will live a long life, content and safe from harm. 24 Some people are too lazy to put food in their own mouths. 25 Arrogance should be punished, so that people who don't know any better can learn a lesson. If you are wise, you will learn when you are corrected. 26 Only a shameful, disgraceful person would mistreat his father or turn his mother away from his home. 27 My child, when you stop learning, you will soon neglect what you already know. 28 There is no justice where a witness is determined to hurt someone. Wicked people love the taste of evil. 29 A conceited fool is sure to get a beating.
1 Drinking too much makes you loud and foolish. It's stupid to get drunk. 2 Fear an angry king as you would a growling lion; making him angry is suicide. 3 Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them. 4 A farmer too lazy to plow his fields at the right time will have nothing to harvest. 5 A person's thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with insight can draw them out. 6 Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is! 7 Children are fortunate if they have a father who is honest and does what is right. 8 The king sits in judgment and knows evil when he sees it. 9 Can anyone really say that his conscience is clear, that he has gotten rid of his sin? 10 The Lord hates people who use dishonest weights and measures. 11 Even children show what they are by what they do; you can tell if they are honest and good. 12 The Lord has given us eyes to see with and ears to listen with. 13 If you spend your time sleeping, you will be poor. Keep busy and you will have plenty to eat. 14 The customer always complains that the price is too high, but then he goes off and brags about the bargain he got. 15 If you know what you are talking about, you have something more valuable than gold or jewels. 16 Anyone stupid enough to promise to be responsible for a stranger's debts ought to have their own property held to guarantee payment. 17 What you get by dishonesty you may enjoy like the finest food, but sooner or later it will be like a mouthful of sand. 18 Get good advice and you will succeed; don't go charging into battle without a plan. 19 A gossip can never keep a secret. Stay away from people who talk too much. 20 If you curse your parents, your life will end like a lamp that goes out in the dark. 21 The more easily you get your wealth, the less good it will do you. 22 Don't take it on yourself to repay a wrong. Trust the Lord and he will make it right. 23 The Lord hates people who use dishonest scales and weights. 24 The Lord has determined our path; how then can anyone understand the direction his own life is taking? 25 Think carefully before you promise an offering to God. You might regret it later. 26 A wise king will find out who is doing wrong, and will punish him without pity. 27 The Lord gave us mind and conscience; we cannot hide from ourselves. 28 A king will remain in power as long as his rule is honest, just, and fair. 29 We admire the strength of youth and respect the gray hair of age. 30 Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.
1 The Lord controls the mind of a king as easily as he directs the course of a stream. 2 You may think that everything you do is right, but remember that the Lord judges your motives. 3 Do what is right and fair; that pleases the Lord more than bringing him sacrifices. 4 Wicked people are controlled by their conceit and arrogance, and this is sinful. 5 Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough. 6 The riches you get by dishonesty soon disappear, but not before they lead you into the jaws of death. 7 The wicked are doomed by their own violence; they refuse to do what is right. 8 Guilty people walk a crooked path; the innocent do what is right. 9 Better to live on the roof than share the house with a nagging wife. 10 Wicked people are always hungry for evil; they have no mercy on anyone. 11 When someone who is conceited gets his punishment, even an unthinking person learns a lesson. One who is wise will learn from what he is taught. 12 God, the righteous one, knows what goes on in the homes of the wicked, and he will bring the wicked down to ruin. 13 If you refuse to listen to the cry of the poor, your own cry for help will not be heard. 14 If someone is angry with you, a gift given secretly will calm him down. 15 When justice is done, good people are happy, but evil people are brought to despair. 16 Death is waiting for anyone who wanders away from good sense. 17 Indulging in luxuries, wine, and rich food will never make you wealthy. 18 The wicked bring on themselves the suffering they try to cause good people. 19 Better to live out in the desert than with a nagging, complaining wife. 20 Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it. 21 Be kind and honest and you will live a long life; others will respect you and treat you fairly. 22 A shrewd general can take a city defended by strong men, and destroy the walls they relied on. 23 If you want to stay out of trouble, be careful what you say. 24 Show me a conceited person and I will show you someone who is arrogant, proud, and inconsiderate. 25 Lazy people who refuse to work are only killing themselves; 26 all they do is think about what they would like to have. The righteous, however, can give, and give generously. 27 The Lord hates it when wicked people offer him sacrifices, especially if they do it from evil motives. 28 The testimony of a liar is not believed, but the word of someone who thinks matters through is accepted. 29 Righteous people are sure of themselves; the wicked have to pretend as best they can. 30 Human wisdom, brilliance, insight - they are of no help if the Lord is against you. 31 You can get horses ready for battle, but it is the Lord who gives victory.
1 All these promises are made to us, my dear friends. So then, let us purify ourselves from everything that makes body or soul unclean, and let us be completely holy by living in awe of God. 2 Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one; we have ruined no one, nor tried to take advantage of anyone. 3 I do not say this to condemn you; for, as I have said before, you are so dear to us that we are always together, whether we live or die. 4 I am so sure of you; I take such pride in you! In all our troubles I am still full of courage; I am running over with joy. 5 Even after we arrived in Macedonia, we did not have any rest. There were troubles everywhere, quarrels with others, fears in our hearts. 6 But God, who encourages the downhearted, encouraged us with the coming of Titus. 7 It was not only his coming that cheered us, but also his report of how you encouraged him. He told us how much you want to see me, how sorry you are, how ready you are to defend me; and so I am even happier now. 8 For even if that letter of mine made you sad, I am not sorry I wrote it. I could have been sorry when I saw that it made you sad for a while. 9 But now I am happy - not because I made you sad, but because your sadness made you change your ways. That sadness was used by God, and so we caused you no harm. 10 For the sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation - and there is no regret in that! But sadness that is merely human causes death. 11 See what God did with this sadness of yours: how earnest it has made you, how eager to prove your innocence! Such indignation, such alarm, such feelings, such devotion, such readiness to punish wrongdoing! You have shown yourselves to be without fault in the whole matter. 12 So, even though I wrote that letter, it was not because of the one who did wrong or the one who was wronged. Instead, I wrote it to make plain to you, in God's sight, how deep your devotion to us really is. 13 That is why we were encouraged. Not only were we encouraged; how happy Titus made us with his happiness over the way in which all of you helped to cheer him up! 14 I did boast of you to him, and you have not disappointed me. We have always spoken the truth to you, and in the same way the boast we made to Titus has proved true. 15 And so his love for you grows stronger, as he remembers how all of you were ready to obey his instructions, how you welcomed him with fear and trembling. 16 How happy I am that I can depend on you completely!
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