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.
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)