How to Live a Life of Wisdom
1A beautiful reputation is more to be desired than great riches,
and to be esteemed by others is more honorable
than to own immense investments.
2The rich and the poor have one thing in common:
the Lord God created each one.
3A prudent person with insight foresees danger coming
and prepares himself for it.
But the senseless rush blindly forward
and suffer the consequences.
4Laying your life down in tender surrender before the Lord
will bring life, prosperity, and honor as your reward.
5Twisted and perverse lives are surrounded by demonic influence.
If you value your soul, stay far away from them.
6Dedicate your children to God
and point them in the way that they should go,
and the values they’ve learned from you will be with them for life.
7If you borrow money with interest,
you’ll end up serving the interests of your creditors,
for the rich rule over the poor.
8Sin is a seed that brings a harvest;
you’ll reap a heap of trouble with every seed you plant.
For your investment in sins pays a full return—
the full punishment you deserve!
9When you are generous to the poor,
you are enriched with blessings in return.
10Say goodbye to a troublemaker and you’ll say goodbye
to quarrels, strife, tension, and arguments,
for a troublemaker traffics in shame.
11The Lord loves those whose hearts are holy,
and he is the friend of those whose ways are pure.
12God passionately watches over
his deep reservoir of revelation-knowledge,
but he subverts the lies of those who pervert the truth.
13A slacker always has an excuse for not working—
like “I can’t go to work. There’s a lion outside!
And murderers too!”
14Sex with an adulteress is like falling into the abyss.
Those under God’s curse jump right in to their own destruction.
15Although rebellion is woven into a young man’s heart,
tough discipline can make him into a man.
16There are two kinds of people headed toward poverty:
those who exploit the poor
and those who bribe the rich.
Sayings of the Wise Sages
17Listen carefully and open your heart.
Drink in the wise revelation that I impart.
18You’ll become winsome and wise
when you treasure the beauty of my words.
And always be prepared to share them at the appropriate time.
19For I’m releasing these words to you this day,
yes, even to you, so that your living hope
will be found in God alone,
for he is the only one who is always true.
20-21Pay attention to these excellent sayings of three-fold things.
For within my words you will discover true and reliable revelation.
They will give you serenity so that you can reveal
the truth of the word of the one who sends you.
22Never oppress the poor
or pass laws with the motive of crushing the weak.
23For the Lord will rise to plead their case
and humiliate the one who humiliates the poor.
24-25Walk away from an angry man
or you’ll embrace a snare in your soul
by becoming bad-tempered just like him.
26Why would you ever guarantee a loan for someone else
or promise to be responsible for his debts?
27For if you fail to pay you could lose your shirt!
28The previous generation has set boundaries in place.
Don’t you dare move them just to benefit yourself.
29If you are uniquely gifted in your work,
you will rise and be promoted.
You won’t be held back—
you’ll stand before kings!