Proverbs 18

1 People who do not have any friends think only about themselves.

They refuse to listen to good advice.

2 A fool does not try to understand what is right.

He only likes to tell people his own ideas.

3 When a wicked person arrives, shame comes with him.

And shame causes people to speak against you.

4 The words that you speak are like the deep water of the sea.

If they are wise words, they are like a cool stream.

5 Do not refuse to punish wicked people. That would not be good.

Also, do not punish anyone who has not done anything wrong.

6 When a fool speaks, he starts an argument.

He is asking for someone to beat him with a stick.

7 When a fool speaks, he is destroying himself.

His own words are a trap that catches him.

8 We love to hear other people's secrets.

They seem like good food that we can enjoy.

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

10 The name of the Lord is like a strong tower.

Righteous people can run there, and then they will be safe.

11 Rich people think that their money makes them safe,

like high, strong walls round a city.

12 If you become proud, something will soon destroy you.

But if you are humble, you will soon receive honour.

13 Listen carefully before you answer.

If you answer too quickly, you will be ashamed like a fool.

14 When someone is ill, his spirit will keep him strong.

But if his spirit has lost hope, he cannot stay strong.

15 Wise people are always learning something new.

16 A gift will give you a chance to meet new people.

Important people may become your friends.

17 You will always believe the first person to speak in court,

until the other person starts to ask him questions.

18 If two powerful people have an argument,

you may have to throw dice to decide who is right.

19 If you insult a relative,

it will be difficult to become friends with him again.

Arguments keep people apart,

like the walls of a strong city.

20 If you speak words that help people,

they are like good food.

21 Words have the power to bring life or death.

So be careful if you talk a lot!

22 If you find a wife, you find a good thing.

The Lord has given you something to enjoy.

23 A poor person has to ask for help.

But a rich person can insult people.

24 A man with many friends may lose them.

But there is a friend who is more faithful than a brother.