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If You Quit Listening
[1-15] Better to be poor and honest
than a rich person no one can trust.
Ignorant zeal is worthless;
haste makes waste.
People ruin their lives by their own stupidity,
so why does God always get blamed?
Wealth attracts friends as honey draws flies,
but poor people are avoided like a plague.
Perjury won’t go unpunished.
Would you let a liar go free?
Lots of people flock around a generous person;
everyone’s a friend to the philanthropist.
When you’re down on your luck, even your family avoids you—
yes, even your best friends wish you’d get lost.
If they see you coming, they look the other way—
out of sight, out of mind.
Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor;
keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life.
The person who tells lies gets caught;
the person who spreads rumors is ruined.
Blockheads shouldn’t live on easy street
any more than workers should give orders to their boss.
Smart people know how to hold their tongue;
their grandeur is to forgive and forget.
Mean-tempered leaders are like mad dogs;
the good-natured are like fresh morning dew.
A parent is worn to a frazzle by a stupid child;
a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet.
House and land are handed down from parents,
but a congenial spouse comes straight from God.
Life collapses on loafers;
lazybones go hungry.
[16-29] Keep the rules and keep your life;
careless living kills.
Mercy to the needy is a loan to God,
and God pays back those loans in full.
Discipline your children while you still have the chance;
indulging them destroys them.
Let angry people endure the backlash of their own anger;
if you try to make it better, you’ll only make it worse.
Take good counsel and accept correction—
that’s the way to live wisely and well.
We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
but God’s purpose prevails.
It’s only human to want to make a buck,
but it’s better to be poor than a liar.
Fear-of-God is life itself,
a full life, and serene—no nasty surprises.
Some people dig a fork into the pie
but are too lazy to raise it to their mouth.
Punish the insolent—make an example of them.
Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson.
Kids who lash out against their parents
are an embarrassment and disgrace.
If you quit listening, dear child, and strike off on your own,
you’ll soon be out of your depth.
An unprincipled witness desecrates justice;
the mouths of the wicked spew malice.
The irreverent have to learn reverence the hard way;
only a slap in the face brings fools to attention.
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.