Some Benefits of Serious Thinking
1It is better to have respect than good perfume.
The day of death is better than the day of birth.
2It is better to go to a funeral
than to a party.
We all must die,
and everyone living should think about this.
3Sorrow is better than laughter,
and sadness has a good influence on you.
4A wise person thinks about death,
but a fool thinks only about having a good time.
5It is better to be criticized by a wise person
than to be praised by a fool.
6The laughter of fools
is like the crackling of thorns in a cooking fire.
Both are useless.
7Even wise people are fools
if they let money change their thinking.
8It is better to finish something
than to start it.
It is better to be patient
than to be proud.
9Don’t become angry quickly,
because getting angry is foolish.
10Don’t ask, “Why was life better in the ‘good old days’?”
It is not wise to ask such questions.
11Wisdom is better when it comes with money.
They both help those who are alive.
12Wisdom is like money:
they both help.
But wisdom is better,
because it can save whoever has it.
13Look at what God has done:
No one can straighten what he has bent.
14When life is good, enjoy it.
But when life is hard, remember:
God gives good times and hard times,
and no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
It Is Impossible to Be Truly Good
15In my useless life I have seen both of these:
I have seen good people die in spite of their goodness
and evil people live a long time in spite of their evil.
16Don’t be too right,
and don’t be too wise.
Why destroy yourself?
17Don’t be too wicked,
and don’t be foolish.
Why die before your time?
18It is good to grab the one and not let go of the other;
those who honor God will hold them both.
19Wisdom makes a person stronger
than ten leaders in a city.
20Surely there is not a good person on earth
who always does good and never sins.
21Don’t listen to everything people say,
or you might hear your servant insulting you.
22You know that many times
you have insulted others.
23I used wisdom to test all these things.
I wanted to be wise,
but it was too hard for me.
24I cannot understand why things are as they are.
It is too hard for anyone to understand.
25I studied and tried very hard to find wisdom,
to find some meaning for everything.
I learned that it is foolish to be evil,
and it is crazy to act like a fool.
26I found that some women are worse than death
and are as dangerous as traps.
Their love is like a net,
and their arms hold men like chains.
A man who pleases God will be saved from them,
but a sinner will be caught by them.
27The Teacher says, “This is what I learned:
I added all these things together
to find some meaning for everything.
28While I was searching,
I did not find one man among the thousands I found.
Nor did I find a woman among all these.
29One thing I have learned:
God made people good,
but they have found all kinds of ways to be bad.”
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.