Want to learn more about Proverbs? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
Would you like to be smarter? Would you like to know
exactly the right thing to say in difficult situations? In the
employment related courses that I teach in law school, I include a
“mini-course” on Bible-based emotional intelligence. Emotional
intelligence is nothing less than wisdom. There are numerous studies
that show that employees who are emotionally intelligent are more
successful. Here is something you might not know: Employees are not
generally fired because they are incompetent. Most of the time it has
to do with their inability to get along with others. The Bible texts
I use to teach emotional intelligence generally come from the book of
Proverbs. The great news is that our study this quarter is the book
of Proverbs and wisdom. Let’s dive into our first lesson!
One tip I share with young pastors is that sermons need
to be filled with stories. This may seem illogical. If you have 20-30
minutes for a sermon, you need to pack in as much “meat” as possible,
and avoid the fluff, right? Wrong! I recall one preacher who went
from Bible text to Bible text to pound out his points. Not an ounce
of “fat” in his sermon. But, an hour later, no one could recall what
he said. If his sermon was heard, it did not stick. Stories make
people listen and make your points stick. Remembering a point helps
it to shape your decisions. Jesus demonstrated this with His
parables. Listening is the starting point for our study this week
about making right decisions, so let’s jump right into our study of
This morning I was reading an article about an
atheists’ rally. At the rally, they were making fun of Jesus and
comparing the atheist rights movement with the homosexual rights
movement. The writer of the article pointed out that homosexual
rallies do not make fun of heterosexual marriage. Why would atheists
make fun of Christians? I’ve noticed that some former members of my
church do not just leave, they attack the church and make fun of it.
Why is that? I think it has to do with one of the points of our
lesson: our religious instruction as a child stays with us. Those who
leave the path of their instruction feel guilty, and so they have to
make fun of their former beliefs to help “get over” them. Let’s jump
into our study of the Bible and see what new things we can discover
about religious training!
Does truth vary for each person? Someone recently wrote
to me “there are many paths in life,” to which I responded, “but only
one leads to the right destination.” Lawyers understand this
intuitively. The “rule of law” means that you have only one law.
Rulers cannot do anything they want. Neither can the ruled. Instead,
we agree on what should be the rule of law for a country. You might
disagree on how to apply it, but there can only be one law if we are
going to have any sense of order. Our study in Proverbs this week is
on wisdom. God operates based on the rule of law, and wisdom is a
rule about how to live. Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and
find out more!
Do you know someone whose life is out of control? To
be truthful, does your life seem to be on the edge of losing control
sometimes? We could all use a little help. Normally, we pray that God
will help us with our problems. But, did you ever consider that God
has already helped us? In Proverbs God gives us His advice for living
a better life. What do you think about people who are too lazy to
read instructions, and instead call to be told what to do? Let’s
plunge into our study of God’s instructions for living a better life!
Computers interested me from the time they were
available to the public. I recall purchasing a Timex Sinclair which
had 2K of memory. After I bought it, I decided that its best use was
as a door stop. (It had sort of a wedge shape.) Early on, I had a
hard time getting the “vision” of what computers could do to make
life better. Bible-based wisdom is like that. We don’t realize how
much following God’s way improves our life. This week our study of
Proverbs helps us to better understand what it means to live a good
life in accord with God’s will. Let’s jump into our study!
There are many reasons that the Internet is wonderful.
One is that it makes it easy to be in contact with many friends and
acquaintances. With greater contact, however, comes the serious
problem of the lack of civility. People feel free to say negative
things through the Internet that they would never, if they had any
refinement, say to your face. Most of us have a “filter” that we use
to refrain from saying the things we are thinking – things which
would be harmful to others. Have you met people who seem to be
lacking a filter? People who seem to thrive on fights and drama –
especially face-to-face? Most of us want to improve our “filter,” so
lets dive into our study of the Bible and obtain the wisdom to do
“Miscellaneous maxims” is how one Bible commentator
referred to a portion of our study this week. That brought a grin to
my face, because our readings in Proverbs this week seem disjointed
and repetitious. Repetitious is good – at least for me. I need to
have things repeated to get them to stick in my mind. In my law
school classes, I teach some of the Proverbs we will study today.
Even though I teach them, I need to remind myself about them – which
is the advantage of miscellaneous repetitive maxims! Just last week I
had a difference of opinion with one of my bosses. I thought he was
wrong, but the Proverb came to mind about avoiding the wrath of the
king. Let’s dive into the Bible and read about the wrath of the king
and other instructions for a more successful life!
Do you want to know the truth? Sometimes fooling
ourselves seems more pleasant, but generally we want the truth. The
Bible tells us that we can be fooled by what others say. But, if we
learn to view the situation through the eyes of wisdom, we would be
able to see the truth. Let’s dive into our study of Bible-based
wisdom and learn more!
This week I read a saying that goes something like
this: “A person with a difficult past gives good advice.” The
proverbs we have studied so far suggest that those who have been wise
in the past are the best source of wisdom. But, this saying
highlights an important point: the rebukes and challenges of life add
to our wisdom. Our study this week considers the issue of how we can
acquire more wisdom. Let’s dig into our study of the Bible and learn
Two topics we discuss this week are the law and
transparency. You might guess this means, “Those who live behind
glass windows should not throw stones.” But, you would be wrong.
Instead, “transparency,” means letting people see all of what you do.
No secrets. This helps you to live by your standards. If God’s law is
your standard, then if you believe that something should be secret,
that is a clue that what you want to keep secret is something you
should not be doing. Let’s dive into our study of the Proverbs!
The Proverbs repeatedly tell us that wisdom brings
wealth and happiness, while being a fool or lazy brings poverty and
grief. When people are doing very well in life, are they generally
humble? My observation is that they are not humble, and for a very
simple reason. Since what they have been doing in life has turned out
well, they think their opinions are superior to those whose lives
have not turned out as well. Perhaps they are right. The problem is
that the Bible cites humility as a virtue, and proud people are not
being wise. Let’s dig into our study of Proverbs to better
understand the virtue of humility!
“Women and Wine” sounds like a song, right? Women,
thinking this might not be heading in a direction that will put them
in a good light, are asking, “Why not Men and Beer?” The Proverbs
have given us positive advice to improve our lives and this, our last
lesson in this series, will be no different. We will not only study
God’s positive message for women, we start out with a woman’s wisdom.
Let’s dive into the Bible and see what we can learn!