Talks for Growing Christians
Wisdom in Relationships
Lesson Number 42
- The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.
- Give a cup of cold water!
- In the proverb of Solomon in verse 15, does the phrase “. . . a gentle tongue breaks a bone,” teach us that a gentle tongue has a positive or a negative impact?
- In verse 18, three weapons are mentioned. What do they have in common? Should the lesson of this proverb, using the weapons as an illustration, be taken literally or figuratively?
- In verse 21, should the “enemy” be understood as an enemy of your country or enemy of law enforcement officers, or as an enemy in a personal relationship? Identify a passage of Scripture in the New Testament that would affirm your answer. What is the meaning of “heaping coals” on a person’s head?
- The proverb in verse 15 teaches us that the use of patience along with a gentle tongue can have a very powerful and positive impact, in this case when persuading a person in authority of your concerns and observations.
- All three of the weapons mentioned in verse 18, the club, sword and sharp arrow, can be lethal. In the same way, false testimony and slander can critically wound a person and lead to death, both figuratively and in some cases literally.
- The context of the proverb in verses 21 and 22 is that of personal relationships, not national defense or law enforcement. See Romans 12:17-21 in this regard. The heaping of coals on the head of a person with whom there is enmity, could either mean that the person will experience the sharp pains of regret, or will experience blessing as if being given burning coals to re-start his household fire that has gone out. In either case, we can be sure that the Lord will reward us if we do not take personal revenge.
- Discuss instances where you have been the subject of false testimony or slander. In retrospect, consider your response(s) to the perpetrator. Consider also the truth of Romans 8:28, that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and who have been called according to His purpose.
- How many Christian friends or acquaintances can you identify who labor faithfully to edify you from their position of Christian service, or who serve the Lord in difficult ministries overseas? Have you expressed your gratitude to them with words of encouragement or supporting gifts? Your concern and compassion for them, expressed in small or large ways, can lift them up, particularly when they are experiencing challenging times
- “Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather . . . is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” Proverbs 25:20
- “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25