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Proverbs 18

1 Unfriendly people care only about themselves;
  they lash out at common sense.

2 Fools have no interest in understanding;
  they only want to air their own opinions.

3 Doing wrong leads to disgrace,
  and scandalous behavior brings contempt.

4 Wise words are like deep waters;
  wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.

5 It is not right to acquit the guilty
  or deny justice to the innocent.

6 Fools' words get them into constant quarrels;
  they are asking for a beating.

7 The mouths of fools are their ruin;
  they trap themselves with their lips.

8 Rumors are dainty morsels
  that sink deep into one's heart.

9 A lazy person is as bad as
  someone who destroys things.

10 The name of the LORD is a strong fortress;
  the godly run to him and are safe.

11 The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;
  they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.

12 Haughtiness goes before destruction;
  humility precedes honor.

13 Spouting off before listening to the facts
  is both shameful and foolish.

14 The human spirit can endure a sick body,
  but who can bear a crushed spirit?

15 Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
  Their ears are open for knowledge.

16 Giving a gift can open doors;
  it gives access to important people!

17 The first to speak in court sounds right—
  until the cross-examination begins.

18 Flipping a coin can end arguments;
  it settles disputes between powerful opponents.

19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.
  Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

20 Wise words satisfy like a good meal;
  the right words bring satisfaction.

21 The tongue can bring death or life;
  those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

22 The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
  and he receives favor from the LORD.

23 The poor plead for mercy;
  the rich answer with insults.

24 There are "friends" who destroy each other,
  but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

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18:18 Hebrew Casting lots.

I loved the New Living Translation when it first came out because it made the Word of God more accessible. We made it our pew Bible at Grace Pointe. Now that its even better for study, I am anticipating an even greater impact on our congregation!

K. John Bell
Grace Pointe Church
Naperville and Plainfield, Illinois

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