Proverbs 26:1-16

Talks for Growing Christians

Wisdom in Discernment

Proverbs 26:1-16

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Lesson Number 43

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Proverbs are wise advice for everyday living.

Practical Application

  1. Take control by cracking the whip and yanking the bridle!


  1. According to the teachings of verses 4 and 5, what would be the improper or inappropriate way to answer a foolish person? What would be the proper or appropriate way to answer?
  2. From the proverbs in verses 1-12, identify several responsibilities that would not be wise to give to a person described by Solomon as a fool.
  3. What would you describe as the epitome of laziness from the proverbs in verses 13-16?


  1. It would be inappropriate to answer a fool with undue emotion or lengthy answers. This would be lowering oneself to the level of the fool. It would be proper to answer the fool with a concise, to-the-point answer that demonstrates wisdom.
  2. Several responsibilities that would not be wise to give a fool are the delivering of a message (v 6), the use and application of biblical proverbs (vs 7, 9), and the handling of inappropriate honor (vs 1, 8).
  3. The epitome of the laziness of a sluggard would be his unwillingness to even lift his hand to his mouth in order to feed himself (v 15). Slothfulness can be detrimental to your health!


  1. Discuss the characteristics of a fool as presented by Solomon in his proverbs. Consider these characteristics in regard to political leaders who are currently in influential positions and how believers should respond to those of them who demonstrate foolish ways. Also consider your own children, or students under your teaching, who at times are acting like fools. Discuss the boundaries beyond which you should “crack the whip” and use strong discipline or even physical punishment.


  1. Have you spent a lot of your time and emotion responding to the repeated claims of those who consider themselves knowledgeable about spiritual things and who demean the name of Christ and the veracity of the Bible? Recognize foolish people for what they are, answer them firmly and concisely and then turn your attention to someone who is open to the truth of Scripture.

Key Verses

  • “As snow in summer and rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.” Proverbs 26:1
  • “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.” Proverbs 26:16

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