4:1 Your Life Is at Stake
Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you'll know how to live.
2 I'm giving you good counsel; don't let it go in one ear and out the other.
3 When I was a boy at my father's knee, the pride and joy of my mother,
4 He would sit me down and drill me: "Take this to heart. Do what I tell you — live!
5 Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!Don't forget one word! Don't deviate an inch!
6 Never walk away from Wisdom — she guards your life; love her — she keeps her eye on you.
7 Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
8 Throw your arms around her — believe me, you won't regret it; never let her go — she'll make your life glorious.
9 She'll garland your life with grace, she'll festoon your days with beauty."
10 Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life.
11 I'm writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I'm drawing a map to Righteous Road.
12 I don't want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns.
13 Hold tight to good advice; don't relax your grip. Guard it well — your life is at stake!
14 Don't take Wicked Bypass; don't so much as set foot on that road.
15 Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth. Make a detour and be on your way.
16 Evil people are restless unless they're making trouble; They can't get a good night's sleep unless they've made life miserable for somebody.
17 Perversity is their food and drink, violence their drug of choice.
18 The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine.
19 But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker — travelers can't see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.
20 Learn It by Heart
Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice.
21 Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
22 Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health.
23 Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts.
24 Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
25 Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions.
26 Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
27 Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)