For most of us, ringing in the new year involves a lot of honest reflection around how to do life differently going forward. Thankfully, there is no shortage of resources to help us! There are more books, seminars, Ted Talk videos, and podcasts than anyone could digest in two lifetimes. But how do we sift through all the knowledge out there in order to tap into the wisdom that can lead to a lasting change?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. What has been the most successful new year’s resolution you’ve made? What steps did you take to be successful?
2. What would you say is the primary difference between knowledge and wisdom? Which do you think is easier to acquire and why?
3. Read Proverbs 2:2-6. Solomon used a lot of action words to encourage us in our pursuit of wisdom. Re-read those words aloud; although that may sound like a lot of work, the payoff can be huge! What would more godly wisdom mean for your life in 2018?
4. Jesus criticized the religious leaders of His day for allowing the accumulation of knowledge to make them arrogant and proud. As we seek to grow in our knowledge of God’s Word and His ways, how can we avoid falling into the same trap?
5. Read Proverbs 3:11-18. It sounds like wisdom is often found as a result of God’s discipline in our lives. What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned as the result of being disciplined by God or some other authority in your life?
6. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier by putting more information at our fingertips, yet it seems like we hear a lot about fake news and misinformation. How can applying Biblical wisdom help us discern fact from fiction as we strive to make sense of what is happening in the world around us and in our daily lives?
7. In the message, we were challenged to read and reflect on one Proverb every day during this series. What other practical steps can you take to establish wisdom-building habits this month and in the months to come?
Proverbs 2:2-6 – Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom!
Proverbs 3:11-18 – My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.
To dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, check out the “Wisdom” outcome on Gateway’s Spiritual Growth Path. Here’s an excerpt:
Let’s make a distinction: wisdom is different than intelligence. Intelligence may be had by those able to hold a great many facts in their minds. They know a lot about a lot of things, which can be a very useful tool. But there is such a thing as an intelligent fool, or conversely, a person who may not have a high degree of intelligence but who has a deep degree of wisdom. Wisdom is the person who knows how to live and how to relate. The intelligent person might be gifted at crafting words or statements, for example, but the wise will know when to speak and when to be silent. The intelligent may have the competencies to be impressive in the moment, but the wise will have the discipline to get things done overtime. Wisdom is not flashy and is often overlooked and under-appreciated. The wise…do not live to be impressive but effective, unlike the fool who parades himself. Scripture has a great deal to say about wisdom. The book of Proverbs is dedicated to wisdom, as are Ecclesiastes and a few others….Those who grow in wisdom are those who listen carefully to the counsel of Scripture, they seek the guidance of others, and they are reflective enough on their own experiences that they learn from their own collection of wins and losses.
To complete the outcome in its entirety, visit gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/wisdom Also check out this great devotional:
God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/wisdom