Basic Principles for Living Well - Proverbs 21

Living well is not a complicated things. The basic principles are quite obvious. It is only when we try to out-smart such basic principles that we get into great difficulty and suffering. What are these basic principles? Proverbs 21 tell us.
The 8 Basic Principles:
Proverbs 21 give us eight basic principles that we can follow to live a good life.  Here is an outline in mind-map format:
1 God Overrules - God is in charge. 
Follow Him. Don't think you can cheat God.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, Psalm 111:10.

The very first principle for living is that there is a God and God is in charge of all. You can never out-smart or cheat God. To men, a king seems to have all the power but he cannot go against God. Consider the Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, he finally gave in to God and let Moses and his people go. His change of mind and his pursuit of them only ended in the death of him and his troops.

Chinese has a simple saying, "人在做,天在看." meaning "when men are doing, God is watching". There are longer version of the saying, such as,
“小心报应,不是不报,只是时机会到,人在做天在看, 举头三尺有神明,”
Be careful of the retribution. It is just that the time has not come.
What men are doing, God is watching.
Lift up your head and know that 3 feet above there live a God.

Proverbs 21 ends with v31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.
Which is similar to
Proverbs 16:9 [CEV] We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.
An equivalent Chinese saying is "谋事在人,成事在天"
Planning belongs to men but success is from God.

See also Man plans and God gives the Outcome - Proverb 16

So life should begin with knowing God and His ways and to live life accordingly.

2 Live Rightly & Justly
Life becomes meaningful when we do the right things and also uphold justice.

3 Arrogance is the beginning of Evil
Watch it! Mock not. This is a surprise to me. Thinking oneself is so great will lead us into thinking others are meant for us use or really abuse. The early sign of warning is the way we speak and behave. We look down on others and mock them. We say nasty things about them. Watch our words and see if there are arrogance in them.

4 Wealth - Get it Rightly and Use it Wisely
The Bible does not condemn wealth. It is the love of money and not money itself that is the root of all evil. Get the money in the right way and then use them wisely too.
See also How to Get Wealth and Go for Something Even Better...

5 Evil & Its bad Outcomes - So Stay Away from Evil.

6 Quarrelsome Wife makes life miserable - Choose Your Wife and Friends carefully.
Stay away from negative and complaining people. If you are strong enough, then perhaps you can help them change with your love and wisdom. Surround yourselves with positive people.

7 Making Peace with Gifts -Do it discretely. Give face.
Living peacefully with others is a key for happiness. Chinese has a saying, 家和万事兴, when there is harmony in the family, then every thing will blossom. One good way to restore peace is to seek forgiveness or to befriend with gifts and acts of kindness. Repay evil with good says the Bible. It will convert an enemy to a friend. However, please do it quietly and discretely. It is a matter between you and him. Your gifts or acts of kindness must be from his point of views. Find out what he likes first.  Don't over do it as it may become an insult. e.g. giving too much money or too expensive gifts becomes an insult.

8 Speech - Don't talk too much. Don't lie nor boast.
Our tongues are most difficult to control yet they are easily the main cause of endless quarrels, misunderstanding and fights. Control our urge to speak. Make sure our words are encouraging. Make sure we earn the rights to speak, especially of correction.

The Details:

By following the principles here, we can live well.

Lim Liat (c) 27 Jan 2016

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