Ecclesiastes 7:1-14

Learn about life and death

1 If people respect you as a good person,

that is better than expensive perfume.

The day of your death is better than the day of your birth.

2 If you go to a house where there is a funeral,

that is better for you than to go to a party.

Everyone will die one day.

People should think about death while they are still alive.

3 If you are sad,

that is better for you than to laugh all the time.

We learn more about ourselves when we are sad.

4 A wise person thinks about funerals and what they mean.

A foolish person thinks about how to enjoy a party.

5 If a wise person warns you, listen to him.

That is better for you than to listen to the songs of a foolish person.

6 If you use thorn bushes to make a fire,

they make a lot of noise but they burn too quickly.

When a foolish person laughs,

their noise also has no purpose.

7 If a wise person cheats people,

he becomes a fool.

If you accept a bribe,

you will no longer think properly.

8 If you finish some work,

that is better than to start something new.

It is better to be patient than to be proud.

9 Control your angry thoughts.

Only fools allow their anger to continue.

10 Do not say, ‘Everything was a lot better in the past.’

Those are not wise thoughts.

11 It is good to have wisdom,

like money that you receive from your father.

Wisdom helps everyone who lives.

12 Both wisdom and money can keep you safe.

But wisdom is better.

If you are wise, your knowledge can save your life.

13 Think about the things that God has done.

If God has bent something,

nobody can make it straight again.

14 If your life is good, you should be happy.

But if you have trouble, think about this:

God causes both joy and trouble in our lives.

We do not know what will happen next.