The Right Word at the Right Time
1 There are also these proverbs of Solomon, collected by scribes of Hezekiah, king of Judah.
2 God delights in concealing things; scientists delight in discovering things.
3 Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth, the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep.
4 Remove impurities from the silver and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice;
5 Remove the wicked from leadership and authority will be credible and God-honoring.
6 Don't work yourself into the spotlight; don't push your way into the place of prominence.
7 It's better to be promoted to a place of honor than face humiliation by being demoted.
8 Don't jump to conclusions — there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.
9 In the heat of an argument, don't betray confidences;
10 Word is sure to get around, and no one will trust you.
11 The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
12 And a wise friend's timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.
13 Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat — refreshing!
14 Like billowing clouds that bring no rain is the person who talks big but never produces.
15 Patient persistence pierces through indifference; gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.
A Person Without Self-Control
16 When you're given a box of candy, don't gulp it all down; eat too much chocolate and you'll make yourself sick;
17 And when you find a friend, don't outwear your welcome; show up at all hours and he'll soon get fed up.
18 Anyone who tells lies against the neighbors in court or on the street is a loose cannon.
19 Trusting a double-crosser when you're in trouble is like biting down on an abscessed tooth.
20 Singing light songs to the heavyhearted is like pouring salt in their wounds.
21 If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he's thirsty, bring him a drink.
22 Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and GOD will look after you.
23 A north wind brings stormy weather, and a gossipy tongue stormy looks.
24 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack than share a mansion with a nagging spouse.
25 Like a cool drink of water when you're worn out and weary is a letter from a long-lost friend.
26 A good person who gives in to a bad person is a muddied spring, a polluted well.
27 It's not smart to stuff yourself with sweets, nor is glory piled on glory good for you.
28 A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)