If You Desert God’s Law
1 The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
bold as lions.
2 When the country is in chaos,
everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
to straighten things out.
3 The wicked who oppress the poor
are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.
4 If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.
5 Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
those who seek God know it inside and out.
6 It’s better to be poor and direct
than rich and crooked.
7 Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.
8 Get as rich as you want
through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
is going to give it all back to them.
9 God has no use for the prayers
of the people who won’t listen to him.
Wow. I could say more and have had thoughts similar. Wow is all I’ll say.
10 Lead good people down a wrong path
and you’ll come to a bad end;
do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.
11 The rich think they know it all,
but the poor can see right through them.
12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
but when the bad are in charge, watch out!
13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.
14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
a hardhearted person lives a hard life.
15 Lions roar and bears charge—
and the wicked lord it over the poor.
16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.
17 A murderer haunted by guilt
is doomed—there’s no helping him.
18 Walk straight—live well and be saved;
a devious life is a doomed life.
Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways
19 Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.
20 Committed and persistent work pays off;
get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.
21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.
22 A miser in a hurry to get rich
doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.
23 In the end, serious reprimand is appreciated
far more than bootlicking flattery.
24 Anyone who robs father and mother
and says, “So, what’s wrong with that?”
is worse than a pirate.
25 A grasping person stirs up trouble,
but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.
26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
real survivors learn wisdom from others.
27 Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses.
28 When corruption takes over, good people go underground,
but when the crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.
1-3 When you go out to dinner with an influential person,
mind your manners:
Don’t gobble your food,
don’t talk with your mouth full.
And don’t stuff yourself;
bridle your appetite.
4-5 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich;
Riches disappear in the blink of an eye;
wealth sprouts wings
and flies off into the wild blue yonder.
6-8 Don’t accept a meal from a tightwad;
don’t expect anything special.
He’ll be as stingy with you as he is with himself;
he’ll say, “Eat! Drink!” but won’t mean a word of it.
His miserly serving will turn your stomach
when you realize the meal’s a sham.
9 Don’t bother talking sense to fools;
they’ll only poke fun at your words.
Bruh. I just said earlier I wasn’t going to argue with fool because someone was being foolish. Man. God’s Word is so timely so often!
10-11 Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines
or cheat orphans out of their property,
For they have a powerful Advocate
who will go to bat for them.
12 Give yourselves to disciplined instruction;
open your ears to tested knowledge.
Don’t listen to everybody is what this is telling me…
13-14 Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones;
a spanking won’t kill them.
A good spanking, in fact, might save them
from something worse than death.
15-16 Dear child, if you become wise,
I’ll be one happy parent.
My heart will dance and sing
to the tuneful truth you’ll speak.
17-18 Don’t for a minute envy careless rebels;
soak yourself in the Fear-of-God—
That’s where your future lies.
Then you won’t be left with an armload of nothing.
19-21 Oh listen, dear child—become wise;
point your life in the right direction.
Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk;
don’t eat too much food and get fat.
Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row,
in a stupor and dressed in rags.
Buy Wisdom, Education, Insight
22-25 Listen with respect to the father who raised you,
and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her.
Buy truth—don’t sell it for love or money;
buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.
Parents rejoice when their children turn out well;
wise children become proud parents.
So make your father happy!
Make your mother proud!
26 Dear child, I want your full attention;
please do what I show you.
27-28 A prostitute is a bottomless pit;
a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.
She’ll take you for all you’ve got;
she’s worse than a pack of thieves.
29-35 Who are the people who are always crying the blues?
Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beaten up for no reason at all?
Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
It’s those who spend the night with a bottle,
for whom drinking is serious business.
Don’t judge wine by its label,
or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor.
Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—
the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
Do you really prefer seeing double,
with your speech all slurred,
Reeling and seasick,
drunk as a sailor?
“They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt;
they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.
When I’m sober enough to manage it,
bring me another drink!”
Words Kill, Words Give Life
1 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.
Wow. Gag him. Lol.
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.
Uh what? Woah.
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 honor.
13 Answering before listening
is both stupid and rude.
Ouch. Guilty at times.
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 favor 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.
We have so much stuff.
We define ourselves by how much and how expensive our stuff is.
I was walking and saw so many expensive cars and driveways full of two, three, and four cars.
Jesus and the Bible talk about how stuff and riches aren’t always the greatest.
Yes, some of us will be rich and prosper. That’s in the Bible.
How we treat that stuff is the problem. Are we making it idols? Are we making it gods? Are we valuing and worshipping it more than we should and more than God? Are we using stuff to fill voids and cover our issues and insecurities?
While stuff is nice, and I am blessed to have plenty of it, it doesn’t define me. Receiving gifts and stuff is not important to me. That’s my lowest love language.
It may have something to do with feeling like my stuff mattered more than me to others when I was younger. It may have something to do with the fact that I got stuff when I needed time.
I just don’t need much. I am actually overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I discovered I had after living 10ish hours away from all of it for more than a year. I gave some away and dang near wanted to just give all of it away. I’m not gonna be able to wear most of it soon anyway.
Years ago, when I cleaned out and gave away my physical stuff my inside, my mind, felt clearer and lighter. I ended up wasting money and acquiring a lot of stuff again. Fortunately, it was just stuff to me. I was lazy and didn’t want to pay money to wash clothes. I was bored. I still gave stuff away and bought stuff for others.
I ended up far less able to afford stuff a couple of years ago. It didn’t even matter. I can’t really afford the different levels of lifestyles I’ve had. But I don’t care. My identity isn’t tied to stuff.
I have the capacity to earn a lot of money when I pass the bar. My dream car? A GMC Acadia. American made. Cheaper maintenance.
I want to buy a condo in the near future. Eventually? Land to custom build a house for me, houses for any children I have or adopt to leave something for my future, and have a farm to give food and jobs to those in need. The hands and feet of Jesus (Matthew 25:31-40) and following what the Bible says parents should do (Proverbs 13:22).
What does your stuff and how you relate to it say about you? What does it mean to you? How does it affect you?