Talks for Growing Christians
Wisdom in Listening
Lesson Number 28
- The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.
- Select your close friends carefully!
- In the Old Testament, God’s people knew that _____ sovereignly controlled the results when lots were drawn. In the New Testament, the use of lots for making decisions is never mentioned after the coming of the ______ ________ at Pentecost (Acts 2).
- What makes the use of a gift (18:16), different than the use of a bribe (17:23)?
- In the book of James, believers are admonished to “. . . be quick to listen, slow to speak . . .” (from 1:19). Identify the verses in this lesson in Proverbs that call upon believers to be good listeners.
- In the Old Testament, God’s people knew that God sovereignly controlled the results when lots were drawn to make important decisions. In the New Testament, after the drawing of lots to determine the replacement of Matthias for Judas in Acts chapter 1, the use of lots for decision-making is never mentioned again. The significant event that took place shortly thereafter was the coming of the Holy Spirit, who would indwell every believer and guide them in making decisions.
- In verse 16 of this lesson, the Hebrew word for “gift,” which can refer to a gift other than money, is a different word than the word for “bribe” in chapter 17:23. A bribe is given to induce a person to act wrongly, in this case to subvert justice. In contrast, a gift is given as a courtesy or sign of respect, and is given innocently, without a motive to manipulate a person to do wrongly. Gifts that carry only a message of respect and generosity can open doors to greater opportunities.
- Verses in this lesson that teach believers to be good listeners are 13, 15, 17 and 19. Here we are taught to: listen before answering; listen in order to seek and acquire knowledge; listen before pleading one’s cause; and listen before speaking offensive words.
- Discuss the characteristics, personalities and temperaments of those around you that have become your closest friends. Consider the possibility that your willingness to listen carefully to them, and their willingness to listen carefully to you, have been important factors in your friendship. Jesus is a great listener, and is the One to whom we should most closely listen.
- Do you choose your friends or do they choose you? Does your friendliness toward others communicate loyalty, trustworthiness and dependability? Jesus wants to be your ultimate friend, and if you trust Him as a friend, He will help you to select your close friends carefully, and will lead trustworthy friends to you.
- “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21