My child, be careful about giving a guarantee for somebody else's loan, about promising to pay what someone else owes.
You might get trapped by what you say; you might be caught by your own words.
My child, if you have done this and are under your neighbor's control, here is how to get free. Don't be proud. Go to your neighbor and beg to be free from your promise.
Don't go to sleep or even rest your eyes,
but free yourself like a deer running from a hunter, like a bird flying away from a trapper.
Go watch the ants, you lazy person. Watch what they do and be wise.
Ants have no commander, no leader or ruler,
but they store up food in the summer and gather their supplies at harvest.
How long will you lie there, you lazy person? When will you get up from sleeping?
You sleep a little; you take a nap. You fold your hands and lie down to rest.
So you will be as poor as if you had been robbed; you will have as little as if you had been held up.
Some people are wicked and no good. They go around telling lies,
winking with their eyes, tapping with their feet, and making signs with their fingers.
They make evil plans in their hearts and are always starting arguments.
So trouble will strike them in an instant; suddenly they will be so hurt no one can help them.
There are six things the Lord hates. There are seven things he cannot stand:
a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people,
a mind that thinks up evil plans, feet that are quick to do evil,
a witness who lies, and someone who starts arguments among families.
My son, keep your father's commands, and don't forget your mother's teaching.
Keep their words in mind forever as though you had them tied around your neck.
They will guide you when you walk. They will guard you when you sleep. They will speak to you when you are awake.
These commands are like a lamp; this teaching is like a light. And the correction that comes from them will help you have life.
They will keep you from sinful women and from the pleasing words of another man's unfaithful wife.
Don't desire her because she is beautiful. Don't let her capture you by the way she looks at you.
A prostitute will treat you like a loaf of bread, and a woman who takes part in adultery may cost you your life.
You cannot carry hot coals against your chest without burning your clothes,
and you cannot walk on hot coals without burning your feet.
The same is true if you have sexual relations with another man's wife. Anyone who does so will be punished.
People don't hate a thief when he steals because he is hungry.
But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole, and it may cost him everything he owns.
A man who takes part in adultery has no sense; he will destroy himself.
He will be beaten up and disgraced, and his shame will never go away.
Jealousy makes a husband very angry, and he will have no pity when he gets revenge.
He will accept no payment for the wrong; he will take no amount of money.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.