Proverbs 26

1 Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.

It’s just not right to tell everyone how good someone is at something when he really isn’t.

2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, so a curse without cause does not alight.

Don’t ask God to punish someone for something they did to you unless your own hands are clean.

3 A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.

People who routinely behave badly need to experience the pain and suffering that it brings them so that they come to their senses and change their behavior. Don’t try to make their life easy.

4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him.

5 Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes.

If you come across a person behaving badly, don’t try to point out his folly if it will cause you to end up behaving badly too. Only try to correct him if you can do it without making a fool of yourself.

6 He cuts off his own feet and drinks violence who sends a message by the hand of a fool.

It is a big mistake to depend on a fool.

7 Like the legs which are useless to the lame, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

Foolish people may say the right things, but at the wrong time.

8 Like one who binds a stone in a sling, so is he who gives honor to a fool.

If you make a fool to look good you are not helping him learn wisdom.

9 Like a thorn which falls into the hand of a drunkard, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

Nobody will listen to a fool even if he says something sensible.

10 Like an archer who wounds everyone, so is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by.

If you’ve got a foolish person in your team, you will cause damage to the rest of your team.

11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.

A person who behaves foolishly again and again is utterly disgusting.

12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

It is practically impossible for a person who thinks he is wise when he isn’t to end up becoming wise.

13 The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!"

A foolish person will give all kinds of ridiculous excuses for why he cannot get the job done.

14 As the door turns on its hinges, so does the sluggard on his bed.

15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is weary of bringing it to his mouth again.

16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer.

A lazy person is never going to accomplish anything useful. See to it that you don’t have such people on your team. Such people think very highly of themselves, but in reality, they are practically useless. They cannot solve problems but are experts in giving excuses for why they cannot solve the problems.

17 Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.

If you see two people are fighting with each other, don’t try to stop them. Let them work it out themselves. If you try to stop them, they both might turn on you.

18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows and death,

19 So is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, "Was I not joking?"

There are people who wish you harm, and speak deceitfully to you, but when you find out, they try to extricate themselves by saying that they were just joking. Don’t believe them, and don’t trust them. They wish you harm, and not good.

20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down.

21 Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

22 The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

If you are in a situation where people are fighting, find out whether there is someone on the team who is the root cause of all the issues and take them out of the team.

23 Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross are burning lips and a wicked heart.

24 He who hates disguises it with his lips, but he lays up deceit in his heart.

25 When he speaks graciously, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart.

26 Though his hatred covers itself with guile, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

Just because someone speaks to you graciously, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can trust them. Many jealous and evil-minded people will speak nicely to you to your face but they eagerly long to see harm come to you. Some of them might even appear as your closest friends. In time, their wickedness will become evident.

27 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him.

God will not allow people who try to harm others to get away with it. Therefore, make sure that you don’t try to harm anyone.

28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes, and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Be careful in your dealings with people who lie to you and flatter you. They do not wish you well.

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