Choosing of Friends-Sirach 11:29-12:18
(Care in Choosing Friends)
Do not invite just anybody into your house, for many are clever deceivers.
Like a partridge in its cage acting as a decoy, so is the heart of the proud man; like a spy he watches out for your weaknesses.
He changes good things into evil, and criticizes even the best things.
Just as a spark sets coal on fire, the wicked man prepares his snares in order to draw blood.
Beware of the wicked man, for he is planning evil; he might dishonor you forever.
If you take a stranger into your house, he will cause you trouble; he will make you a stranger in your own household.
If you do good, know to whom you are doing it, and you will receive thanks for your kindness.
Do good to the godly man and you will receive a reward, if not from the man himself, at least from the Most High.
Blessings are not for those who persist in evil-doing, nor for those who refuse to show compassion.
Give to the godly man, do not help the sinner.
Do good to the humble, do not give to the ungodly; deny him bread, do not give it to him, lest he eventually dominate you.
He will repay you with a double evil for all the good that you have done for him.
For the Most High himself detests sinners and carries out his vengeance on the ungodly.
Give to the good man, but do not help the sinner.
A friend is not known in the time of prosperity, nor does an enemy remain hidden in the time of adversity.
When a man is doing well his enemies are sad; when he is suffering misfortune even his friends hasten to abandon him.
Never trust an enemy, for his malice is like corrosion in bronze.
Even if he should act as a humble man and walk with head bowed down, watch yourself and be on your guard against him.
Behave towards him as if he were a bronze mirror that tarnishes when you stop polishing it.
Do not place him near you, lest he overthrow you and take your place.
Do not make him sit at your right hand, lest he covet your seat.
Let it not be that in the end you understand my words and regret not having listened to my advice.
Who will have pity on the snake charmer bitten by a snake, or on those who go near wild beasts?
It is the same for the man who joins hands with a sinner, and finds himself involved in his wrongdoing.
The sinner will remain quietly with you for a while, but when you are distracted he will throw away his mask.
The enemy is all sweetness in his speech, but in his heart he is planning to throw you in the ditch.
The enemy has tears in his eyes, but if he finds an opportunity, he will never have enough of your blood.
If misfortune comes to you, you will find him there before you; pretending to help you, he will be scheming to get rid of you.
He will wag his head in mockery and clap his hands, and whisper unceasingly and show his true face.
Choosing of Friends-Sirach 11:29-12:18
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