Words Kill, Words Give Life
1Loners who care only for themselves
spit on the common good.
2Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
all they do is run off at the mouth.
3When wickedness arrives, shame’s not far behind;
contempt for life is contemptible.
4Many words rush along like rivers in flood,
but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.
5It’s not right to go easy on the guilty,
or come down hard on the innocent.
6The words of a fool start fights;
do him a favor and gag him.
7Fools are undone by their big mouths;
their souls are crushed by their words.
8Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
do you really want junk like that in your belly?
9Slack habits and sloppy work
are as bad as vandalism.
10God’s name is a place of protection—
good people can run there and be safe.
11The rich think their wealth protects them;
they imagine themselves safe behind it.
12Pride first, then the crash,
but humility is precursor to honor.
13Answering before listening
is both stupid and rude.
14A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?
15Wise men and women are always learning,
always listening for fresh insights.
16A gift gets attention;
it buys the attention of eminent people.
17The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
until the cross-examination starts!
18You may have to draw straws
when faced with a tough decision.
19Do a favor and win a friend forever;
nothing can untie that bond.
20Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.
21Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
22Find a good spouse, you find a good life—
and even more: the favor of God!
23The poor speak in soft supplications;
the rich bark out answers.
24Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family.
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1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 Eugene H. Peterson by NavPress Publishing