Wisdom Will Protect You
1When you’ve been invited to dine with a very important leader,
consider your manners and keep in mind who you’re with.
2Be careful to curb your appetite and catch yourself
before you fall into the trap of wanting all you see.
3Don’t crave their delicacies,
for they may have another motive in having you sit at their table.
4Don’t compare yourself to the rich.
Surrender your selfish ambition and evaluate them properly.
5For no sooner do you start counting your wealth
than it sprouts wings and flies away like an eagle in the sky—
here today, gone tomorrow!
6Be sensible when you dine with a stingy man
and don’t eat more than you should.
7For as he thinks within himself, so is he.
He will grudgingly say, “Go ahead and eat all you want,”
but in his heart he resents the fact that he has to pay for your meal.
8You’ll be sorry you ate anything at all,
and all your compliments will be wasted.
9A rebellious fool will despise your wise advice,
so don’t even waste your time—save your breath!
10Never move a long-standing boundary line
or attempt to take land that belongs to the fatherless.
11For they have a mighty protector,
a loving redeemer, who watches over them,
and he will stand up for their cause.
12Pay close attention to the teaching that corrects you,
and open your heart to every word of instruction.
13Don’t withhold appropriate discipline from your child.
Go ahead and punish him when he needs it.
Don’t worry—it won’t kill him!
14A good spanking could be the very thing
that teaches him a lifelong lesson!
15My beloved child, when your heart is full of wisdom,
my heart is full of gladness.
16And when you speak anointed words,
we are speaking mouth to mouth!
17Don’t allow the actions of evil men
to cause you to burn with anger.
Instead, burn with unrelenting passion
as you worship God in holy awe.
18Your future is bright and filled with a living hope
that will never fade away.
19As you listen to me, my beloved child,
you will grow in wisdom and your heart
will be drawn into understanding,
which will empower you to make right decisions.
20Don’t live in the excesses of drunkenness or gluttony,
or waste your life away by partying all the time,
21because drunkards and gluttons sleep their lives away
and end up broke!
22Give respect to your father and mother,
for without them you wouldn’t even be here.
And don’t neglect them when they grow old.
23Embrace the truth and hold it close.
Don’t let go of wisdom, instruction, and life-giving understanding.
24When a father observes his child living in godliness,
he is ecstatic with joy—nothing makes him prouder!
25So may your father’s heart burst with joy
and your mother’s soul be filled with gladness because of you.
26My son, give me your heart
and embrace fully what I’m about to tell you.
27Stay far away from prostitutes
and you’ll stay far away from the pit of destruction.
For sleeping with a promiscuous woman is like falling into a trap
that you’ll never be able to escape!
28Like a robber hiding in the shadows
she’s waiting to claim another victim—
another husband unfaithful to his wife.
29Who has anguish? Who has bitter sorrow?
Who constantly complains and argues?
Who stumbles and falls and hurts himself?
Who’s the one with bloodshot eyes?
30It’s the one who drinks too much
and is always looking for a brew.
Make sure it’s never you!
31And don’t be drunk with wine
but be known as one who enjoys the company
of the lovers of God,
32For drunkenness brings the sting of a serpent,
like the fangs of a viper spreading poison into your soul.
33It will make you hallucinate, mumble,
and speak words that are perverse.
34You’ll be like a seasick sailor being tossed to and fro,
dizzy and out of your mind.
35You’ll awake only to say, “What hit me?
I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck!”
Yet off you’ll go, looking for another drink!