A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing,
but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.
The Lord is watching everywhere,
keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
Gentle words are a tree of life;
a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline;
We can make our own plans,
but the Lord gives the right answer.
People may be pure in their own eyes,
but the Lord examines their motives.
Commit your actions to the Lord,
and your plans will succeed.
The Lord has made everything for his own purposes,
even the wicked for a day of disaster.
The Lord detests the proud;
they will surely be punished.
Unfailing love and…
Better a dry crust eaten in peace
than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.
A wise servant will rule over the master’s disgraceful son
and will share the inheritance of the master’s children.
Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but the Lord tests the heart.
Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;
liars pay close attention to slander.
Those who mock the poor…
Wise words are like deep waters;
wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
It is not right to acquit the guilty
or deny justice to the innocent.
Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels;
they are asking for a beating.
The mouths of fools are their ruin;
they trap themselves with their lips.
Rumors are dainty morsels
that sink deep into one’s heart.
Better to be poor and honest
than to be dishonest and a fool.
Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good;
haste makes mistakes.
People ruin their lives by their own foolishness
and then are angry at the Lord.
Wealth makes many “friends”;
poverty drives them all away.
A false witness will not go unpunished,
nor will a liar escape.
Many seek favors from a ruler;
We were meant to remember together, in community. We need to tell our stories to others and to hear their stories told. We need to help each other with the interpretation of the Larger Story and our own. Our regular times of coming together to worship are intended to be times of corporate remembrance. “This, God has done,” we say; “this, he will do.” How differentSunday mornings would be if they…
The Lord directs our steps,
so why try to understand everything along the way?
Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
and only later counting the cost.
A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat,
then runs his threshing wheel over them.
The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,[c]
exposing every hidden motive.
Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the…
One night, in desperation and hope, I gave up trying to fix my life and collapsed into the waiting arms of Jesus, responding to his invitation, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me … for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28–30). I had finished reading the verse and fallen on the floor.
I was weary beyond…
Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,
and you will stay out of trouble.
Mockers are proud and haughty;
they act with boundless arrogance.
Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin,
for their hands refuse to work.
Some people are always greedy for more,
but the godly love to give!
The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable,
especially when it is…
Christianity is often presented as essentially the transfer of a body of knowledge. We learn about where the Philistines were from, and how much a drachma would be worth today, and all sorts of things about the original Greek. The information presented could not seem more irrelevant to our deepest desires.
Then there are the systems aimed at getting our behavior in line, one way or another.…