Proverbs 22; Proverbs 23; Proverbs 24; 2 Corinthians 8

1 If you have to choose between a good reputation and great wealth, choose a good reputation. 2 The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord made them both. 3 Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later. 4 Obey the Lord, be humble, and you will get riches, honor, and a long life. 5 If you love your life, stay away from the traps that catch the wicked along the way. 6 Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life. 7 Poor people are slaves of the rich. Borrow money and you are the lender's slave. 8 If you plant the seeds of injustice, disaster will spring up, and your oppression of others will end. 9 Be generous and share your food with the poor. You will be blessed for it. 10 Get rid of a conceited person, and then there will be no more arguments, quarreling, or name-calling. 11 If you love purity of heart and graciousness of speech, the king will be your friend. 12 The Lord sees to it that truth is kept safe by disproving the words of liars. 13 Lazy people stay at home; they say a lion might get them if they go outside. 14 Adultery is a trap - it catches those with whom the Lord is angry. 15 Children just naturally do silly, careless things, but a good spanking will teach them how to behave. 16 If you make gifts to rich people or oppress the poor to get rich, you will become poor yourself. 17 Listen, and I will teach you what the wise have said. Study their teachings, 18 and you will be glad if you remember them and can quote them. 19 I want you to put your trust in the Lord; that is why I am going to tell them to you now. 20 I have written down thirty sayings for you. They contain knowledge and good advice, 21 and will teach you what the truth really is. Then when you are sent to find it out, you will bring back the right answer. 22 Don't take advantage of the poor just because you can; don't take advantage of those who stand helpless in court. 23 The Lord will argue their case for them and threaten the life of anyone who threatens theirs. 24 Don't make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. 25 You might learn their habits and not be able to change. 26 Don't promise to be responsible for someone else's debts. 27 If you should be unable to pay, they will take away even your bed. 28 Never move an old property line that your ancestors established. 29 Show me someone who does a good job, and I will show you someone who is better than most and worthy of the company of kings.
1 When you sit down to eat with someone important, keep in mind who he is. 2 If you have a big appetite, restrain yourself. 3 Don't be greedy for the fine food he serves; he may be trying to trick you. 4 Be wise enough not to wear yourself out trying to get rich 5 Your money can be gone in a flash, as if it had grown wings and flown away like an eagle. 6 Don't eat at the table of a stingy person or be greedy for the fine food he serves. 7 "Come on and have some more," he says, but he doesn't mean it. What he thinks is what he really is. 8 You will vomit up what you have eaten, and all your flattery will be wasted. 9 Don't try to talk sense to a fool; he can't appreciate it. 10 Never move an old property line or take over land owned by orphans. 11 The Lord is their powerful defender, and he will argue their case against you. 12 Pay attention to your teacher and learn all you can. 13 Don't hesitate to discipline children. A good spanking won't kill them. 14 As a matter of fact, it may save their lives 15 My child, if you become wise, I will be very happy. 16 I will be proud when I hear you speaking words of wisdom. 17 Don't be envious of sinful people; let reverence for the Lord be the concern of your life. 18 If it is, you have a bright future. 19 Listen, my child, be wise and give serious thought to the way you live 20 Don't associate with people who drink too much wine or stuff themselves with food. 21 Drunkards and gluttons will be reduced to poverty. If all you do is eat and sleep, you will soon be wearing rags 22 Listen to your father; without him you would not exist. When your mother is old, show her your appreciation. 23 Truth, wisdom, learning, and good sense - these are worth paying for, but too valuable for you to sell. 24 A righteous person's parents have good reason to be happy. You can take pride in a wise child. 25 Let your father and mother be proud of you; give your mother that happiness. 26 Pay close attention, son, and let my life be your example. 27 Prostitutes and immoral women are a deadly trap. 28 They wait for you like robbers and cause many men to be unfaithful. 29 Show me people who drink too much, who have to try out fancy drinks, and I will show you people who are miserable and sorry for themselves, always causing trouble and always complaining. Their eyes are bloodshot, and they have bruises that could have been avoided. 31 Don't let wine tempt you, even though it is rich red, and it sparkles in the cup, and it goes down smoothly. 32 The next morning you will feel as if you had been bitten by a poisonous snake. 33 Weird sights will appear before your eyes, and you will not be able to think or speak clearly. 34 You will feel as if you were out on the ocean, seasick, swinging high up in the rigging of a tossing ship. 35 "I must have been hit," you will say; "I must have been beaten up, but I don't remember it. Why can't I wake up? I need another drink."
1 Don't be envious of evil people, and don't try to make friends with them. 2 Causing trouble is all they ever think about; every time they open their mouth someone is going to be hurt. 3 Homes are built on the foundation of wisdom and understanding. 4 Where there is knowledge, the rooms are furnished with valuable, beautiful things. 5 Being wise is better than being strong; yes, knowledge is more important than strength. 6 After all, you must make careful plans before you fight a battle, and the more good advice you get, the more likely you are to win. 7 Wise sayings are too deep for stupid people to understand. They have nothing to say when important matters are being discussed. 8 If you are always planning evil, you will earn a reputation as a troublemaker. 9 Any scheme a fool thinks up is sinful. People hate a person who has nothing but scorn for others. 10 If you are weak in a crisis, you are weak indeed. 11 Don't hesitate to rescue someone who is about to be executed unjustly. 12 You may say that it is none of your business, but God knows and judges your motives. He keeps watch on you; he knows. And he will reward you according to what you do. 13 My child, eat honey; it is good. And just as honey from the comb is sweet on your tongue, 14 you may be sure that wisdom is good for the soul. Get wisdom and you have a bright future. 15 Don't be like the wicked who scheme to rob honest people or to take away their homes. 16 No matter how often honest people fall, they always get up again; but disaster destroys the wicked. 17 Don't be glad when your enemies meet disaster, and don't rejoice when they stumble. 18 The Lord will know if you are gloating, and he will not like it; and then maybe he won't punish them. 19 Don't let evil people worry you; don't be envious of them. 20 A wicked person has no future - nothing to look forward to. 21 Have reverence for the Lord, my child, and honor the king. Have nothing to do with people who rebel against them; 22 such people could be ruined in a moment. Do you realize the disaster that God or the king can cause? 23 The wise have also said these things: It is wrong for judges to be prejudiced. 24 If they pronounce a guilty person innocent, they will be cursed and hated by everyone. 25 Judges who punish the guilty, however, will be prosperous and enjoy a good reputation. 26 An honest answer is a sign of true friendship. 27 Don't build your house and establish a home until your fields are ready, and you are sure that you can earn a living. 28 Don't give evidence against others without good reason, or say misleading things about them. 29 Don't say, "I'll do to them just what they did to me! I'll get even with them!" 30 I walked through the fields and vineyards of a lazy, stupid person. 31 They were full of thorn bushes and overgrown with weeds. The stone wall around them had fallen down. 32 I looked at this, thought about it, and learned a lesson from it: 33 Go ahead and take your nap; go ahead and sleep. Fold your hands and rest awhile, 34 but while you are asleep, poverty will attack you like an armed robber.
1 Our friends, we want you to know what God's grace has accomplished in the churches in Macedonia. 2 They have been severely tested by the troubles they went through; but their joy was so great that they were extremely generous in their giving, even though they are very poor. 3 I can assure you that they gave as much as they could, and even more than they could. Of their own free will 4 they begged us and pleaded for the privilege of having a part in helping God's people in Judea. 5 It was more than we could have hoped for! First they gave themselves to the Lord; and then, by God's will they gave themselves to us as well. 6 So we urged Titus, who began this work, to continue it and help you complete this special service of love. 7 You are so rich in all you have: in faith, speech, and knowledge, in your eagerness to help and in your love for us. And so we want you to be generous also in this service of love. 8 I am not laying down any rules. But by showing how eager others are to help, I am trying to find out how real your own love is. 9 You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; rich as he was, he made himself poor for your sake, in order to make you rich by means of his poverty. 10 My opinion is that it is better for you to finish now what you began last year. You were the first, not only to act, but also to be willing to act. 11 On with it, then, and finish the job! Be as eager to finish it as you were to plan it, and do it with what you now have. 12 If you are eager to give, God will accept your gift on the basis of what you have to give, not on what you don't have. 13 I am not trying to relieve others by putting a burden on you; but since you have plenty at this time, it is only fair that you should help those who are in need. Then, when you are in need and they have plenty, they will help you. In this way both are treated equally. 15 As the scripture says, "The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little." 16 How we thank God for making Titus as eager as we are to help you! 17 Not only did he welcome our request; he was so eager to help that of his own free will he decided to go to you. 18 With him we are sending the brother who is highly respected in all the churches for his work in preaching the gospel. 19 And besides that, he has been chosen and appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this service of love for the sake of the Lord's glory and in order to show that we want to help. 20 We are being careful not to stir up any complaints about the way we handle this generous gift. 21 Our purpose is to do what is right, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of others. 22 So we are sending our brother with them; we have tested him many times and found him always very eager to help. And now that he has so much confidence in you, he is all the more eager to help. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and works with me to help you; as for the other brothers who are going with him, they represent the churches and bring glory to Christ. 24 Show your love to them, so that all the churches will be sure of it and know that we are right in boasting about you.
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