Am I a fool? Check it up with Proverbs 26

Proverbs 26 is all about fools. It teaches how to deal with a fool. It reveals two kinds of fools. The proud fool who thinks he is a know all and hence never learn, lazy and reckless because of his foolishness. The other kind of fool is the cunning and evil fool who thinks he can manipulate others through flatteries and trickeries violating the laws of righteousness and integrity.
The Summary of Proverbs 26

The Full Mindmap of Proverbs 26

Lim Liat (c) 30 Jun 2017


How to Make Effective Conversations - Proverbs 25

Proverbs 25 teaches us how to make effective conversations - conversations that discover the truth, change behavior and bring harmony.  See the details: (The Bible verses are from ESV unless otherwise indicated)

Effective Conversations:

The Summary Mind-map:

The Full Text:
- Authorship - Solomon
  • - Pro 25:1 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
- 1 Discover Hidden Truth - The 1st Step of Conversation
  • - The Heart of Man is most Difficult to know
    • - Pro 25:3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.

      • The higher their positions, the more difficult it is for us to know their hearts' intentions.
    • - God hides & Man Discovers - This is Story/Purpose of Science
      • - Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.

  • - Divide to Understand - Go Below the Surface
    • - Pro 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;

      To discover the truth, we need to filter out the noises, excuses, blames, and the smoke screens thrown at you.
  • - Remove Evil Discovered
    • - Pro 25:5 take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.

    • Now that you discover the evils, you must take steps to remove them so that the good ones can flourish. 
- 2 Not to Show-off - Don't Think You are that Important
  • - Pro 25:6 Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great,
  • - Pro 25:7 for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

  • Don't talk down to people. Don't praise yourself and be contradicted by others. Better for others to praise you.
- 3 Litigation - Don't Be Hasty -Talk to Person Involved 1st
  • - Pro 25:8 What your eyes have seen do not hastily bring into court, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?There is more than what you have seen.
    • - It is risky business to accuse others publicly in court.
      • - Selwin, of London: “A man who deliberates about going to law should have,
        • 1. A good cause;
        • 2. A good purse;
        • 3. A good skillful attorney;
        • 4. Good evidence;
        • 5. Good able counsel;
        • 6. A good upright judge;
        • 7. A good intelligent jury; and with all these on his side, if he have not,
        • 8. Good luck, it is odds but he miscarries in his suit.” O the glorious uncertainty of the law!
      • - Pro 25:9 - [ISV]Instead, take up the matter with your neighbor and don't betray another person's confidence.Always talk to the person involved to get the truth. Don't betray in order to win. The best is not go into litigation and be forced to.
          • The warning would seem to be against being betrayed by a litigious spirit into dishonourable conduct, and incurring the indelible shame of betraying confidence through eagerness to win your suit.
          • if you know anything scandalous and reproachful of your neighbour and his family, you are contending with, which does not concern the cause in hand, do not divulge it, as persons from a spirit of revenge are apt to do, when they are quarrelling or litigating a point with each other.
      • - Pro 25:10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end.
      - 4 Fit the Occasion - Be Sensitive
      • - Pro 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
      • - Pro 25:20 Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.
        • - 5 Earn the Rights to SpeakGain the trust - listen to show care
          • - Gain a Listening Ears 1st that your advice may be accepted.
            • - Pro 25:12 Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
                • Gain the trust first v13
          • - Trustworthy Words
            • - Pro 25:13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.
        6 Content
        • - Truthful Words
          • - Truthful - No Boasting
            • - Pro 25:14 Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
          • - Lie not
            • - Pro 25:18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
        • - Few good words - Not Long message
          • - Pro 25:16 If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
        • - Good News
          • - Pro 25:25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
        7 Manner: Softly & patiently
        • - Pro 25:15 With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.
        8 Avoiding
        • - Interfere Not
          • - Pro 25:17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
        • - Believe Not Treacherous Man - There are people out there to give fake evidence
          • - Pro 25:19 Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
        • - Bad-mouthing Not
          • - Pro 25:23 The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
        • - Quarrels Not
          • - Pro 25:24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
        • - Compromise Not - Stick to Righteousness
          • - Pro 25:26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
        9 Attitudes
        • - Love
          • - Pro 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
          • - Pro 25:22 for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.
            (note: burning coals are put on containers and then on the head to keep people warm during winter time).
        • - Humility - No self-glorification
          • - Pro 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey,
            Don't overdo
            • nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.
              Don't do it for selfish reasons.
        • - Self Control
          • - Pro 25:28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
            • be gentle v15
            • be concise v16
            • be loving v21
            • be humble v27
            • not overdo v27
        Lim Liat (c) 28-6-17


        The Wisdom for Successful Living in the Story of Proverbs 19

        Connecting the apparent unconnected verses of Proverbs 19 give us the wisdom for a living a successful life. While wealth is so desirable, getting it swiftly through devious means does no work. Only through the hard road of getting knowledge, following God's commands with hard work will make it. But then, there is something better than wealth. That is love. Life is more than oneself. There are others to care for. A meaningful life begins with the fear of God. Success also comes to finding a good spouse, having a good family, doing parenting well and having good children. Read on to discover the how to.
        Most people think of Proverbs as a loosely connected set of quotes of wisdom. So we just study a few verses from each chapter, being not able to find the connection.  However, such a connection can be discovered and we can find great wisdom from it. Consider Proverbs 19.

        Proverbs 19 - The Wisdom for Successful Living

        The key verse for the chapter is verse 1. It is better to be poor and upright than trying to be rich by lying and cheating; such acts are foolish. See Reading Reflectively to Get Better Understanding Using Proverbs 19:1 as an Example.

        Verse 2 highlights that speeds from cheating will fail to achieve the wealth that one so desires. Success comes through the way of acquiring knowledge and so forth as shown in the table below.

        1 Integrity is better than Wealth

        Pro 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
        (1) It is better to poor and upright than trying to be rich by lying and cheating; such acts are foolish.

        (2) It is better to be uprightly poor than a rich cheater(one who get rich by illegal means) or a rich fool (one who inherits his wealth and could not keep them but waste them).
        2 Speed does not assure success -Doing the right things rightly is.
        Pro 19:2 Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
        If we link up to up with the previous verse about not getting rich deviously, then it is about getting knowledge first to know how to provide valuable products or services to get wealth. If we just want to get rich quickly by moving too fast without acquiring wisdom first, then we will get lost.
        3 A fool blames God for his errors.- Don't blame but learn from errors
        Pro 19:3 When a man's folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD.
        Now that the fool who tries to cheat to be rich failed miserably, he blames God instead! How could a God who claims to love him did not save him from his ruins!
        Of the two meanings proposed earlier, it is clear that (1) fits the context better. It is about the foolish one who tries to be rich by lying.
        4 Wealth Attracts - Poverty Repels
        Pro 19:4 Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
        If he has obtained his wealth in the right way, getting knowledge first and following the path of righteousness, he will be rich and will have many new friends (good and bad kinds). However, the fool who ruined his life is now deserted by his old friends, even his only best friend.
        5 Lying brings Punishments
        Pro 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
        The fool changes not his ways; he can't because he blame God and others for his failures. Now he continues to try to get wealth by being a false witness; such as giving good reviews and testimonies for poor quality products or offerings; false advertising, bad mouthing of others, or hoaxes on the internet.
        6 Generosity Attracts - Both good & bad, so watch out.
        Pro 19:6 Many seek the favor of a generous man, and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.
        In contrast, a wealthy and generous man will attract lots of friends.
        But there is no assurance that those people who come because of your gifts can be your good friends.
        7 Poverty Repels - Even their siblings
        Pro 19:7 All a poor man's brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words but does not have them.
        Not only the poor have no friend, even his brothers hate him. Even if he tries to charm them with his words and big promises, they ignore him.
        8 Wisdom brings Success
        Pro 19:8 Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good.
        So, the lesson we learn in life is about getting wisdom and understanding so that one can live a successful life.
        9 Wisdom - Lie Not - Honesty is Best Policy
        Pro 19:9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.
        A common sense of wisdom is not to lie. This is the foundation to start one's life.
        10 Rich + Fool Don't Mix
        Pro 19:10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury, much less for a slave to rule over princes.
        A fool living with great wealth is not right. It is a bad testimony and misleads others ---- getting wealth without wisdom. It is like a servant commanding his master. It is an upside-down world. This is a repeated emphasis on richness must be acquired through acquiring wisdom first.
        11 Slow to Anger
        Pro 19:11a Good sense makes one slow to anger,
        Successful man control his emotion well. He is not quick temper.
        12 Be Forgiving
        Pro 19:11b and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
        He also forgives an offense.
        Life is about moving ahead and not be trapped by the past.
        13 Boss is powerful - Be on His good side
        A king's wrath is like the growling of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.  Pro 19:12
        A man of influence has the power to harm you or be good to you. Take care to be on his good side.
        14 Foolish Son
        Pro 19:13a A foolish son is ruin to his father,
        Hence, a wise father teaches his sons.
        A good son learns and acquires knowledge.
        15 The Good Wife - Quarrel Not
        Pro 19:13b and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
        Nagging does not change behavior. It creates more distance between spouses.
        She is a gift from God
        Pro 19:14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
        A Good Wife is God's Blessing. Pray and ask God for the right one. See Proverbs 31 about the life of a good wife.
        16 Be not Lazy - It brings hunger
        Pro 19:15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
        The destructive power of laziness is not immediately seen. Failures creep in slowly.
        17 Godly Living
        Pro 19:16 Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die.  
        Obeying God's commandments, stay on the path of integrity is the best policy for sustained success. He has a long and secured life.
        Do not think we can outsmart and cheat God. Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
        18 Charity - They are God's people - God is a Rewarder
        Pro 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.
        What we do to the poor, we also do to God.
        God is a rewarder. We actually serve God through serving people. 
        Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
        19 Parenting - Discipline
        Pro 19:18a Discipline your son, for there is hope;
        Discipline is the way to save our children that behave not.
        Pro 19:18b do not set your heart on putting him to death.
        Not disciplining them when needed is like condemning them death. You are destroying their future.

        20 Let the Consequences do the discipline
        Pro 19:19 A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
        The most effective form of discipline is let the consequences be the teacher.
        It helps them to make wise decisions.
        21 Listen & Learn - Don't say I know already
        Pro 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
        Growth and progress are about learning new things. When we said we know already, we may have stopped learning. Be humble. Let Steve Jobs say, "Stay hungry. Stay foolish.“
        22 God In Control
        Pro 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
        You can't outsmart God - back to verse 1 - don't try to cheat your way to wealth
        Just obey God is the best policy. See v16.
        23 Love is more valuable than Wealth
        Pro 19:22 What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.
        Go for something more valuable than wealth.
        Poor but loving is better than a rich liar.
        24 Fear of the Lord - It brings peace and security
        Pro 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
        The most important lesson of all is Fear and Obey the God. He is protected from harms. He is contented in life.
        25 Don't be Over-loving - It paralyzes
        Pro 19:24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
        You should not do everything for your children or someone in need that they do not want to take care of themselves and will always be a dependent person. It explains the famous saying, "You can bring a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink."
        26 Coaching is for Both Simple & Wise
        Pro 19:25a Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
        Teach the simple-minded scoffer to know the truth and to give respect.
        Pro 19:25b reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
        Man of wisdom will appreciate your correction done in good faith.
        27 Honoring Our Parents
        Pro 19:26 He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother is a son who brings shame and reproach.
        From being a good spouse, a good parent to honoring our own parents and being a good example for our own children.
        28 How does a fool come about?- A Checklist for Us
        Pro 19:27 Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
        Are we humble and open-minded to learn
        29 Punishments are for sure.
        Pro 19:28 A worthless witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
        Don't be a false witness and a liar. Such actions are condemning justice.
        Pro 19:29 Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools.
        Two kinds of behaviors are bad and will be punished. The one who laughs at justice and truth with his lies and the fool who knows not what is right and wrong and do it wrongly.

        The Key Lessons:
        1. Wealth is powerful and is to be desired.
          But it must be gained by the way of righteousness. (Mat 6:33).
          There is no instant or speedy solution but by the way of acquiring knowledge and hard work.
        2. Love is Better than Wealth.
          Even though wealth is powerful, love is even better. Helping others in need is recognized by God as helping him and they will be rewarded.
        3. The Fear of God is Best - Fear in the sense of respect, worship and awe so that we may be careful to do His will with our best efforts.
        4.  Always Learning and progressing.
        5.  Lies Not. Give no false testimonies.
        6. Be Not Lazy.
        7. Be a Good Spouse - not nagging.
        8. Be a Good Parent - teaching and discipline children with consequences 
        9. Be a Good Child - honoring parents
        10. Be a Good Teacher - teaching the simple and the wise
        Lim Liat (c) 23 June 2017