New International Reader's Version

Proverbs 4

Get Wisdom at Any Cost

1My sons, listen to a father’s teaching.
    Pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you good advice.
    So don’t turn away from what I teach you.
I, too, was once a young boy in my father’s house.
    And my mother loved me deeply.
Then my father taught me.
    He said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart.
    Keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, and get understanding.
    Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
Stay close to wisdom, and she will keep you safe.
    Love her, and she will watch over you.
To start being wise you must first get wisdom.
    No matter what it costs, get understanding.
Value wisdom highly, and she will lift you up.
    Hold her close, and she will honor you.
She will set a beautiful crown on your head.
    She will give you a glorious crown.”

10 My son, listen. Accept what I say.
    Then you will live for many years.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom.
    I lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, nothing will slow you down.
    When you run, you won’t trip and fall.
13 Hold on to my teaching and don’t let it go.
    Guard it well, because it is your life.
14 Don’t take the path of evil people.
    Don’t live the way sinners do.
15 Stay away from their path and don’t travel on it.
    Turn away from it and go on your way.
16 Sinners can’t rest until they do what is evil.
    They can’t sleep until they make someone sin.
17 They do evil just as easily as they eat food.
    They hurt others as easily as they drink wine.

18 The path of those who do right is like the sun in the morning.
    It shines brighter and brighter until the full light of day.
19 But the way of those who do what is wrong is like deep darkness.
    They don’t know what makes them trip and fall.

20 My son, pay attention to what I say.
    Listen closely to my words.
21 Don’t let them out of your sight.
    Keep them in your heart.
22 They are life to those who find them.
    They are health to a person’s whole body.
23 Above everything else, guard your heart.
    Everything you do comes from it.
24 Don’t speak with twisted words.
    Keep evil talk away from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead.
    Keep looking right in front of you.
26 Think carefully about the paths that your feet walk on.
    Always choose the right ways.
27 Don’t turn to the right or left.
    Keep your feet from the path of evil.