Words for Life
2 Do not praise individuals for their good looks,
or loathe anyone because of appearance alone.
3 The bee is small among flying creatures,
but what it produces is the best of sweet things.
4 Do not boast about wearing fine clothes,
and do not exalt yourself when you are honoured;
for the works of the Lord are wonderful,
and his works are concealed from humankind.
5 Many kings have had to sit on the ground,
but one who was never thought of has worn a crown.
6 Many rulers have been utterly disgraced,
and the honoured have been handed over to others.
7 Do not find fault before you investigate;
examine first, and then criticize.
8 Do not answer before you listen,
and do not interrupt when another is speaking.
9 Do not argue about a matter that does not concern you,
and do not sit with sinners when they judge a case.
10 My child, do not busy yourself with many matters;
if you multiply activities, you will not be held blameless.
If you pursue, you will not overtake,
and by fleeing you will not escape.
11 There are those who work and struggle and hurry,
but are so much the more in want.
12 There are others who are slow and need help,
who lack strength and abound in poverty;
but the eyes of the Lord look kindly upon them;
he lifts them out of their lowly condition
13 and raises up their heads
to the amazement of many.
14 Good things and bad, life and death,
poverty and wealth, come from the Lord.*
17 The Lord’s gift remains with the devout,
and his favour brings lasting success.
18 One becomes rich through diligence and self-denial,
and the reward allotted to him is this:
19 when he says, ‘I have found rest,
and now I shall feast on my goods!’
he does not know how long it will be
until he leaves them to others and dies.
20 Stand by your agreement and attend to it,
and grow old in your work
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