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A Whack on the Head of a Fool
[1-16] A meal of bread and water in contented peace
is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.
A wise servant takes charge of an unruly child
and is honored as one of the family.
As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan,
so our lives are assayed by God.
Evil people relish malicious conversation;
the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.
Whoever mocks poor people insults their Creator;
gloating over misfortune is a punishable crime.
Old people are distinguished by grandchildren;
children take pride in their parents.
We don’t expect eloquence from fools,
nor do we expect lies from our leaders.
Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone;
any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.
Overlook an offense and bond a friendship;
fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!
A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense
does more than a whack on the head of a fool.
Criminals out looking for nothing but trouble
won’t have to wait long—they’ll meet it coming and going!
Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs
than a fool hellbent on folly.
Those who return evil for good
will meet their own evil returning.
The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam,
so stop it before it bursts.
Whitewashing bad people and throwing mud on good people
are equally abhorrent to God.
What’s this? Fools out shopping for wisdom!
They wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it!
One Who Knows Much Says Little
[17-28] Friends love through all kinds of weather,
and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing,
or run up huge bills you can never pay.
The person who courts sin marries trouble;
build a wall, invite a burglar.
A bad motive can’t achieve a good end;
double-talk brings you double trouble.
Having a fool for a child is misery;
it’s no fun being the parent of a dolt.
A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.
The wicked take bribes under the table;
they show nothing but contempt for justice.
The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard;
fools look for it everywhere but right here.
A surly, stupid child is sheer pain to a father,
a bitter pill for a mother to swallow.
It’s wrong to penalize good behavior,
or make good citizens pay for the crimes of others.
The one who knows much says little;
an understanding person remains calm.
Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise;
as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.