1 If a person never says anything carelessly, he is to be congratulated; he doesn't need to feel guilty. 2 If a person has a clear conscience and never gives up hope, he is certainly to be congratulated!
Responsible Use of Wealth
3 It isn't right for someone who is selfish to be rich. What use is money to a stingy person? 4 If you deny yourself in order to accumulate wealth, you are only accumulating it for someone else. Others will use your riches to live in luxury. 5 How can you be generous with others if you are stingy with yourself, if you are not willing to enjoy your own wealth? 6 No one is worse off than someone who is stingy with himself; it is a sin that brings its own punishment. 7 When such a person does something good, it is only by accident; his selfishness will sooner or later be evident. 8 A selfish person is evil; he turns his back on people's needs 9 and is never satisfied with what he has. Greed will shrivel up a person's soul. 10 Some people are too stingy to put bread on their own table.
11 My child, treat yourself as well as you can, and bring worthy offerings to the Lord. 12 Remember that death is coming for you some day, and you haven't been told when that will be. 13 Before that day comes, be kind to your friends; be as generous as you can. 14 Don't deny yourself a single day's happiness. If there is something you want to do and it is lawful, go ahead! 15 Some day all that you have worked for will be divided up and given to others. 16 So be generous; but also be willing to receive from others. Enjoy yourself, for you will not find any pleasures in the world of the dead. 17 The human body wears out like a piece of clothing. The ancient law decrees that we must die. 18 Human beings are like leaves on a spreading tree. New growth takes the place of the fallen leaves; while some of us die, others are being born. 19 Everything made by human hands will decay and perish, along with the person who made it.
The Happiness of Having Wisdom
20 It is a happy person who is concerned with Wisdom and who uses good sense. 21 Anyone who studies the ways of Wisdom will also learn her secrets. 22 Go after Wisdom like a hunter looking for game. 23 Look into her windows and listen at her doors. 24 Camp as close to her house as you can get, 25 and you will have a fine place to live. 26-27 Build your home there, safe beneath her protecting branches, and shaded from the heat.