Be a faithful reader, regularly and with the eyes of faith. Be an active reader, intelligently and critically. Put the texts in context, read from a tradition and a believing community. Read the Bible as a whole, not isolating passages. Understand the background of each book. Try to understand the consensus opinion about texts. Appreciate the major themes and narratives. Be open to God and his word. Be aware of the continuity and discontinuity. Try to translate the Bible to your life situations
Makes the heart sick.
But a desire fulfilled
Is a tree of life.
Whoever despises the word
Brings destruction on themselves.
But whoever respects the commandment
Will be rewarded.
The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life.
Thus one may avoid the snares of death.
Good sense wins favor.
But the way of the faithless is their ruin.
The clever do all things intelligently.
But the fool displays folly.
A bad messenger brings trouble.
But a faithful envoy brings healing.
Poverty and disgrace come to
Whoever ignores instruction.
But whoever heeds reproof is honored.
A desire realized
Is sweet to the soul.
But to turn away from evil
Is an abomination to fools.”
When hope is deferred, it brings on sickness. However, when a desire is fulfilled, the tree of life grows more. If you despise the word or commandment of God, you will bring on your own destruction. If you respect the commandments, then you will be rewarded. Listen to the teachings of the wise ones because they are fountain of life to help you avoid the snares of death. Good sense will win you favors, while the faithless way leads to ruin. The clever smart ones do everything intelligently, while the fools tend to be foolish. It is better to be a good messenger than a bad messenger because that will bring healing to people. If you ignore instruction, you will end up poor and in disgrace. If you follow instructions, you will be honored. Realizing your dreams and hopes is sweet. The problem is that the evil ones have a hard time turning away from evil since they are so attracted to it.