Sirach 5

Practical precepts

1 Don't be preoccupied with your money, and don't say, "I'm self-sufficient."
2 Don't follow your inclination or your strength, in order to walk in the desires of your heart.
3 And don't say, "Who'll have power over me?" When the Lord punishes, he will punish.
4 Don't say, "Sure, I sinned, but what happened to me?" The Lord is patient indeed.
5 Don't be too confident of being forgiven, adding sin upon sin.
6 Don't say, "His compassion is great; he will forgive the whole heap of my sins." Mercy and wrath are with him, and his anger will rest on sinners.
7 Don't wait to turn back to the Lord. Don't put it off day after day, because the Lord's wrath will come forth suddenly; when the time for punishment comes, you will be destroyed.
8 Don't be preoccupied with ill-gotten gains; it will be of no benefit when you are in trouble.
9 Don't be blown about by every wind, and don't take every shortcut. This is how the devious sinner acts.
10 Be firmly grounded in your understanding, and let your speech be consistent.
11 Listen carefully, and utter a patient reply.
12 If you have understanding, answer your neighbor, but if you don't, clap your hand over your mouth.
13 Speaking brings glory or dishonor. Indeed, the tongue can be a person's downfall.
14 Don't get a reputation for being a slanderer, and don't set traps for people with your speech, because shame comes to the thief, and terrible blame comes upon the deceitful.
15 Don't be ignorant in matters large or small.