Proverbs 17 (The Message)
A Whack on the Head of a Fool
1 A meal of bread and water in contented peace
is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.
“Ponder every thought that may disturb contentment. If you have fewer comforts than you used to have, or fewer comforts than other people have, or fewer comforts than you desire, do you not still have more than you deserve?”
2 A wise servant takes charge of an unruly child
and is honored as one of the family.
3 As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan,
so our lives are assayed by God.
4 Evil people relish malicious conversation;
the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.
5 Whoever mocks poor people insults their Creator;
gloating over misfortune is a punishable crime.
6 Old people are distinguished by grandchildren;
children take pride in their parents.
7 We don’t expect eloquence from fools,
nor do we expect lies from our leaders.
8 Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone;
any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.
9 Overlook an offense and bond a friendship;
fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!
A friend taught me how to have a happy life. It really is so simple. “Choose NOT to be offended.” I will confess that some people give me many opportunities to practice this habit! Yet I will vouch for its usefulness. “Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another . . . “
10 A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense
does more than a whack on the head of a fool.
11 Criminals out looking for nothing but trouble
won’t have to wait long—they’ll meet it coming and going!
12 Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs
than a fool hellbent on folly.
13 Those who return evil for good
will meet their own evil returning.
“To render good for evil is divine, good for good is human, evil for evil is brutish, evil for good is devilish.”
14 The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam,
so stop it before it bursts.
15 Whitewashing bad people and throwing mud on good people
are equally abhorrent to God.
16 What’s this? Fools out shopping for wisdom!
They wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it!
17 Friends love through all kinds of weather,
and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
“Let it be applied. Then two startling questions will arise. First, a question as to whether I am really a friend to anyone; and second, a question as to how many real friends I have.”
–G. Campbell Morgan
“We must look to our Lord for the best example in this matter. We see the Son of God taking on our nature so that he might be our friend and brother (Hebrews 2:14). The mystery of this friendship is beyond our imagination.”
18 It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing,
or run up huge bills you can never pay.
19 The person who courts sin marries trouble;
build a wall, invite a burglar.
20 A bad motive can’t achieve a good end;
double-talk brings you double trouble.
21 Having a fool for a child is misery;
it’s no fun being the parent of a dolt.
22 A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.
23 The wicked take bribes under the table;
they show nothing but contempt for justice.
24 The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard;
fools look for it everywhere but right here.
25 A surly, stupid child is sheer pain to a father,
a bitter pill for a mother to swallow.
26 It’s wrong to penalize good behavior,
or make good citizens pay for the crimes of others.
27 The one who knows much says little;
an understanding person remains calm.
28 Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise;
as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
Verse 17 talks about the value of friendship. Let’s say THANKS today to all of our wonderful friends! Make a few phone calls, write a few emails! HERE is Elaine Paige and Dionne Warwick and “Thank You for Being a Friend.”