Fools Recycle Silliness
1We no more give honors to fools
than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.
2You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse
as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow.
3A whip for the racehorse, a tiller for the sailboat—
and a stick for the back of fools!
4Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.
5Answer a fool in simple terms
so he doesn’t get a swelled head.
6You’re only asking for trouble
when you send a message by a fool.
7A proverb quoted by fools
is limp as a wet noodle.
8Putting a fool in a place of honor
is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.
9To ask a moron to quote a proverb
is like putting a scalpel in the hands of a drunk.
10Hire a fool or a drunk
and you shoot yourself in the foot.
11As a dog eats its own vomit,
so fools recycle silliness.
12See that man who thinks he’s so smart?
You can expect far more from a fool than from him.
13Loafers say, “It’s dangerous out there!
Tigers are prowling the streets!”
and then pull the covers back over their heads.
14Just as a door turns on its hinges,
so a lazybones turns back over in bed.
15A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie,
but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth.
Like Glaze on Cracked Pottery
16Dreamers fantasize their self-importance;
they think they are smarter
than a whole college faculty.
17You grab a mad dog by the ears
when you butt into a quarrel that’s none of your business.
18-19People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,
saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,”
Are worse than careless campers
who walk away from smoldering campfires.
20When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;
when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down.
21A quarrelsome person in a dispute
is like kerosene thrown on a fire.
22Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
do you want junk like that in your belly?
23Smooth talk from an evil heart
is like glaze on cracked pottery.
24-26Your enemy shakes hands and greets you like an old friend,
all the while plotting against you.
When he speaks warmly to you, don’t believe him for a minute;
he’s just waiting for the chance to rip you off.
No matter how shrewdly he conceals his malice,
eventually his evil will be exposed in public.
28Liars hate their victims;
flatterers sabotage trust.
THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of NavPress, represented by Tyndale House Publishers.