Everything with a Place and a Purpose
1Mortals make elaborate plans,
but God has the last word.
2Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.
3Put God in charge of your work,
then what you’ve planned will take place.
4God made everything with a place and purpose;
even the wicked are included—but for judgment.
5God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense;
believe me, he’ll put those upstarts in their place.
6Guilt is banished through love and truth;
Fear-of-God deflects evil.
7When God approves of your life,
even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.
8Far better to be right and poor
than to be wrong and rich.
9We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.
It Pays to Take Life Seriously
10A good leader motivates,
doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.
11God cares about honesty in the workplace;
your business is his business.
12Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds;
sound leadership has a moral foundation.
13Good leaders cultivate honest speech;
they love advisors who tell them the truth.
14An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives;
you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that.
15Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives;
they’re like spring rain and sunshine.
16Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money;
choose insight over income every time.
17The road of right living bypasses evil;
watch your step and save your life.
18First pride, then the crash—
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
19It’s better to live humbly among the poor
than to live it up among the rich and famous.
20It pays to take life seriously;
things work out when you trust in God.
21A wise person gets known for insight;
gracious words add to one’s reputation.
22True intelligence is a spring of fresh water,
while fools sweat it out the hard way.
23They make a lot of sense, these wise folks;
whenever they speak, their reputation increases.
24Gracious speech is like clover honey—
good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
25There’s a way that looks harmless enough;
look again—it leads straight to hell.
26Appetite is an incentive to work;
hunger makes you work all the harder.
27Mean people spread mean gossip;
their words smart and burn.
28Troublemakers start fights;
gossips break up friendships.
29Calloused climbers betray their very own friends;
they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.
30A shifty eye betrays an evil intention;
a clenched jaw signals trouble ahead.
31Gray hair is a mark of distinction,
the award for a God-loyal life.
32Moderation is better than muscle,
self-control better than political power.
33Make your motions and cast your votes,
but God has the final say.
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1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 Eugene H. Peterson by NavPress Publishing