Proverbs 18 The Message
Words Kill, Words Give Life
18 Loners who care only for themselves
spit on the common good.
2 Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
all they do is run off at the mouth.
3 When wickedness arrives, shame’s not far behind;
contempt for life is contemptible.
4 Many words rush along like rivers in flood,
but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.
5 It’s not right to go easy on the guilty,
or come down hard on the innocent.
6 The words of a fool start fights;
do him a favor and gag him.
7 Fools are undone by their big mouths;
their souls are crushed by their words.
8 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
do you really want junk like that in your belly?
9 Slack habits and sloppy work
are as bad as vandalism.
10 God’s name is a place of protection—
good people can run there and be safe.
11 The rich think their wealth protects them;
they imagine themselves safe behind it.
12 Pride first, then the crash,
but humility is precursor to honour.
13 Answering before listening
is both stupid and rude.
14 A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?
15 Wise men and women are always learning,
always listening for fresh insights.
16 A gift gets attention;
it buys the attention of eminent people.
17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
until the cross-examination starts!
18 You may have to draw straws
when faced with a tough decision.
19 Do a favour and win a friend forever;
nothing can untie that bond.
20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.
21 Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
22 Find a good spouse, you find a good life—
and even more: the favor of God!
23 The poor speak in soft supplications;
the rich bark out answers.
24 Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family.
(WOMEN) What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! (ALL) O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. (MEN) Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. (ALL) Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer. (ALL) Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Saviour, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer. Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms he’ll take and shield thee; thou shalt find a solace there.