22 Principles for A Good & Successful Person from Proverbs 22

The wisdom of Proverbs 22 is distilled into 22 principles for making a good and successful person. It is re-organized into 8 keys for ease of memory and application. Learn them well for your success.
Getting Wisdom from Proverbs 22
The first step is to rephrase each verse with a few keywords. Then we try to group them and give a higher level title. The end result is shown in the mind-map:

The Summary Map:

The Detailed Map showing how the summary map is derived.

The 22 Principles
  • #0 Foundational Truth- Priority of Life
    • Your identity & relationship are more important than wealth. 
    • What you are is more important than what you own. 
    • Life is What you do with What you are born with. 
    • Hence do and live well.
  • 1 God is 1st - Worship & Trust Him -Fear God and develop Humility
    • #2 Fear of God & Humility brings Success
    • #16 Trust the Lord
  • 2 Be Righteous & Just
    • #17 Know Right & True
    • #3 Being Straight brings Life
    • #6 Be Just - Injustice brings calamity -Abuses of Power brings disaster
    • #14 Exploit or Bully Others Not
    • #18 Do Not Exploit the Weak
    • #21 Don't Cheat
  • 3 Prudence
    • #1 Be Prudent - Escape Danger -36计 走为上计!e.g. Joseph running away from his master's wife approaches
    • #12 Watch out for Temptations
    • #20 Don't Make Pledges nor Put up Security when You are Unable
  • 4 Learning & Training
    • #4 Training from Young brings Lasting Result
    • #10 Learning Always.
    • #13 Discipline is needed
    • #15 Internalize Knowledge to be able to use it anytime.
  • 5 Be Generously Kind - The Key to Master Wealth
    • #5 Wealth has Power & Influence - Use it Well
    • #7 Be Kind & Generous
  • 6 Away from Bad Influences
    • #8 Get Rid of, Or Stay Away from, Trouble Makers - e.g. Mocking Others, Complaints, Proud, Gossipers
    • #19 Stay Away from Angry Influence
  • 7 Grace & Truth
    • #9 Promotion Comes from Purity & Gracefulness
  • 8 Work Hard
    • #11 Be Diligent
    • #22 Be Skillful - Excel in Your Work
In the Chinese Calendar, today is Chinese New Year day 7, which is known as Men's Day 人日. It is the birthday of all men. So, it is good that we learn to be a good man today 人日学做人。

For another perspective, see also, How to Get Wealth and Go for Something Even Better...

If you are wondering whether this teaching is still applicable today, see Billionaire's Wisdom for Life Matches with Bible Proverbs 22 

Lim Liat (c) 22 Feb 2018


Discovering the Deeper Meaning of Bible Verses - Luke 10:17,20

There are methods which we can learn and apply that we may one day be as good as the best of the Bible commentators for our growth and sharing in the knowledge of the Bible.
Good preachers are able to see things that we don't see in our reading of the Bible. What secrets do they have that we don't? Consider Tim Keller's "Messengers" sermon on Luke 10:1-21, we will discover many revelations that we failed to see though we have read it through many times. For a short post like this one, we just consider

  • Luk 10:17  The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” ...
  • Luk 10:20  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 
What was the seventy-two rejoicing about?

They were rejoicing that they had power over the demons.

There is nothing wrong with that. If I were them, I would do the same too!

But there is something very wrong here that I failed to see in my many readings of Luke until Tim Keller pointed it out.

They were not rejoicing about the people who were set free from the bondage of demons!

So, we now can see that the Seventy-Two were very self-centered and also their desires were "Power" or "Influence" over others. They were celebrating their power and success. They did not rejoice with the people set free.

A better answer will be "Lord, many people are healed and set free from demons in Your Name!". That answer will show that the focus is on Jesus and on the others. We should rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn (Rom 12:15) as with Paul.

The Secret of Deeper Understanding:

1. Consider the wider context, the total situation.

In the situation, the people involved were Jesus, Seventy-Two, Cities, People - who receive, People who reject, sickness, demons, etc. Then the instructions were given to them etc.

2. Consider What are said and What is not said.

We understand from reading what is reported. We must also ask what and why were not reported.
In the above example, they were excited about their power but not about the people healed and freed.

3. Make the Right Interpretations and Get Support from the Context of the Passage.

Any interpretation is subject to our own biasedness and could be wrong. It is always good to check again especially using other text from the same context of the passage. 

We find 10:22 that Jesus told them something else is more important than having power over the demons.

Luk 10:20  Nevertheless, 
  • do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, 
  • but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” 
We can see that "My Names in Heaven" is BETTER than "My Power over Demons"


Names in Heaven is about a community of people with God externally,
My Power is a self-centered dominating over others desire. It easily will lead to using God as our means to do the things we want. God could become our Genie and we become god the very reason for Eve's deception and the fall of Satan. 

So we see Jesus' words endorsing our earlier interpretations that the Seventy-Two were not rejoicing rightly.

As we try to learn and understand from the good preachers, we hope one day we could also see the deeper, more meaningful truths that we could grow and share with others too.

Lim Liat (c) 9 Feb 2018


How Good is Our God to Us? Psalm 84

God empowers us to succeed in life - receiving favor and honor.
Psalm 84 tells us how good is our God to us. We should read the whole psalm to see and enjoy it. But in particular, I want to point out verses 11 & 12:

  • 11a  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; 
    • Sun: our guide. God leads us and shows us the ways we should walk.
    • Shield: our protection. As we walk in the righteous paths, there evil and wicked will want to attack us. God foresees and protects us from them.
  • 11b the LORD bestows favor and honor. 
    • favor: we are given all the grace and power, wisdom, and abilities to do the things that He leads us to do.
    • honor: We achieved and become successful. We receive honors. God's glory is revealed through our honor and success. Can you see it? He gives us the abilities so that we become successful and He is happy for us.
  • 11c No good thing does he withhold
    • God withholds nothing good. If we have not received anything; then the thing must not have been good for us or it is not the right time for us to have it yet.
    • The devil, however, wants us to think that God keeps the best and don't want us to have the best. He told Eve, "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  Eve fell for it. Will we?
  • 11d from those who walk uprightly.
    • God is a just God. There is a condition for the blessings of honor and favor. We must walk in His righteous ways.
  • 12  O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!
    • The Key issue has always been, "Do we trust God?"

May we put our full trust in God and we always walk in His Ways. We believe that He does not withhold the best from us. He guides us and as we walk in His ways, his protection shields us from the attack of the enemies. He gives us grace and abilities to accomplish great tasks and receive honors that His name may be glorified through us. May we always remember that it was His grace that empowers us to succeed. May we always are grateful and never be proud thinking that we did it by ourselves.

Lim Liat (c) 6 Feb 2018