Proverbs Week 12 Study Guide

Proverbs: Prudence

OBJECTIVE/ STUDY: During these times of national and personal complexity, we don’t grasp for false simplicities. We want to walk the good path. The good path is always going to be the path of “faith and wisdom.” We have to have one hand on the dial of faith and the other on the dial of wisdom. This is what the Bible describes as prudence.

DISCUSSION 1: Prudence Defined

Q1: What is prudence? 

Answer: Prudent is a word that describes a person who can use reason under the fear of God to navigate the problems and complexities of life. Prudence uses reason, sound thinking, and faith, as one trusts and obeys God (the practical outcome of “fear of the Lord.”)

For example, prudence asks: what is really happening here; How does this moment fit into the larger picture; What needs to happen next; What should I do?

Point of Discussion: Have you operated with Biblical prudence this week? Could you use some prudence right now?

Have members share their thoughts.

Q2: Terry described prudence as R/A (Read/Act). In your own words, what he is describing, and how does it work? 

Answer: Four people or approaches.

  •   r/A=not reading well, taking action (messy)…slow down, read the situation better.
  •   R/a=you see what is happening pretty well, but are not acting appropriately (complainer, whiner)
  •   r/a=not reading or acting (it’s all good!)
  •   R/A=effective at reading and courage and wise in acting…seeing the larger picture, acting in appropriate ways.

DISCUSSION 2: Aspects of Prudence

Exercise: Read the following aspect of prudence and personalize them. Think about how prudence can shape you during this time of uncertainty. Think about using your hands to tune the dials of faith and wisdom. Think about how prudence can conform you to Christ’s Image. 

  1.   Prudence is a key component of wisdom…it is in the introduction of Proverbs, twice. 

Read (Prov 1:1-7)

  1.   Prudence loves truth, knowledge, facts…fools love their own ideas. 

“Every prudent man works with knowledge, but a fool flaunts folly.” (Proverbs 13:16)

  1.   Prudence has a long time horizon…while the fool is self-deceived by living only in the moment. “The wisdom of the prudent is to thoughtfully consider his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.” (Proverbs 14:8)
  2.   Prudence takes correction while the fool despises it. 

“A fool despises his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds rebuke shows prudence.” (Proverbs 15:5) 

“Above all else guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

  1.   The prudent person sees traps and avoids them. “A prudent person sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 22:3)

End with Prayer:

Pray for: Government leaders; healthcare providers; those who have lost jobs; the sick; pray that God would bring an end to the coronavirus and save lives; pray for the Church and the expansion of God’s Kingdom.

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