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Precepts for Everyday Living

Do not set your heart on your wealth,
    nor say, “I have enough.”
Do not follow your inclination and strength,
    walking according to the desires of your heart.
Do not say, “Who will have power over me?”
    for the Lord will surely punish you.

Do not say, “I sinned, and what happened to me?”
    for the Lord is slow to anger.
Do not be so confident of atonement
    that you add sin to sin.
Do not say, “His mercy is great,
    he will forgive[a] the multitude of my sins,”
for both mercy and wrath are with him,
    and his anger rests on sinners.
Do not delay to turn to the Lord,
    nor postpone it from day to day;
for suddenly the wrath of the Lord will go forth,
    and at the time of punishment you will perish.

Do not depend on dishonest wealth,
    for it will not benefit you in the day of calamity.
Do not winnow with every wind,
    nor follow every path:
    the double-tongued sinner does that.
10 Be steadfast in your understanding,
    and let your speech be consistent.
11 Be quick to hear,
    and be deliberate in answering.
12 If you have understanding, answer your neighbor;
    but if not, put your hand on your mouth.
13 Glory and dishonor come from speaking,
    and a man’s tongue is his downfall.

14 Do not be called a slanderer,
    and do not lie in ambush with your tongue;
for shame comes to the thief,
    and severe condemnation to the double-tongued.
15 In great and small matters do not act amiss,


  1. Sirach 5:6 Heb: Gk he (or it) will atone for

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