*LEADERS STUDY GUIDE 10.4.2020
WISE LIVING FROM PROVERBS:
OPENING QUESTION: Terry introduced us to the idea of framing. In your own words, how would you describe the concept of framing?
Answer: The way we perceive a situation… many times, situations can be seen as both threats and opportunities.
Note: Terry used the OT story of Esther. Think back to the story, help your folks identify her response, and how she was able to see her situation from a different perspective. Think about how Esther initially responded… how Mordecai help Esther reframe the situation. Esther was not encouraged to rejoice in an existential threat to the Jewish people…but she was to have vision for what her choices might mean during her time. The threat was real…but the opportunity was as well…in fact, the result was not only that the Jewish people were not wiped out…but they thrived, their condition improved.
Now think about your own life. The question is often…Is this a threat, or is this opportunity? Usually…the answer is “yes”…but whether or not we experience a situation as an opportunity is often tied to how we think about it…how we frame it…or allow it to be framed for us. Going to someone to express love, or to ask for forgiveness, or to mend a relationship…can feel like a threat…and in some ways it is…but it is, of course, an opportunity. Sharing the gospel with a friend or family member can feel like a threat (what if they become angry, reject me, ask questions I can’t answer)…but of course, it is opportunity. Leading a small group can feel like a threat…what if I fail, what if people don’t follow me…but it is an opportunity to grow, to see God move, to bless others. Sharing a weakness, an addiction, asking for help can feel like a threat “they will know me, my failure will be obvious,” but it is an opportunity to become free, grow, and humble yourself.
OBJECTIVE: Our objective for today is to understand that the way we frame our thinking and living is important. The book of Proverbs is a wonderful tool God has provided for us. It reframes the world to see God involved in all of it. To have the right perspective, we must train ourselves for faith—to see opportunity in all of life—this is slow brain, hard work. It is not naïve or foolish to look for opportunity during times of threat if you believe that God is at work in all of the details of our lives. Wisdom sees the threat clearly and makes strategies to mitigate it. But wisdom also sees opportunity and makes strategies to capitalize on it.
LESSON DISCUSSION 1: THE REFRAMING CONSTRUCT
If you read the book of Proverbs with this “reframing” construct, you will see that the entire book is built that way.
Compare and contrast are the wise teacher’s favorite verbal tools, and the goal is to “reframe” folly and wisdom to clearly demonstrate that the wise path is the good path.
Practical Application Exercise:
- Have your group members read any chapter in Proverbs and look for this reframing perspective.
- Look at how the author is reframing life…two paths, two perspectives…folly and wisdom.
- Once they find one, have them share how the proverbs teach us to reframe our thinking and living.
Important Note: Terry, (when discussing the spread of the Gospel in Acts) was not advocating for seeing what is not there (made up optimism), or not seeing what is really there (denial of real threats). He advocated that we live with a biblical wisdom that sees God in everything, with the result being a reframing of every potential threat as opportunity for what matters the most to rise to the surface.
Q1: With all, we’ve discussed already, How would you say Roman’s 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” help us to reframe our thoughts and lives to better align with a biblical perspective?
Note: That is one of the greatest of all reframing sentences ever written. The Bible as a whole is about reframing how we see and live in the world. Listen to Jesus, reframing the fundamental human approach to the world…
“You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45
Application: How Do We Life Live This Way
We must continually make sure our thoughts, words, and actions…are framed by the reality of God and the gospel.
- Thoughts: Take them captive, make them obey Christ. Let God’s Word train your mind.
- Words: Ephesian 4:29 “Don’t let any unwholesome words come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.”
- Actions: Will I move through the world, avoiding threats or pursuing opportunities. That simple sentence describes two very different ways of life.
Scripture used in Sermon:
- Book of Esther
- Acts 1, 7:57-8:4
- Proverbs 10:1 “A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is sorrow to his mother.”
- Romans 8:28
- Mark 10:42-45 “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- Ephesians 4:29 “Don’t let any unwholesome words come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.”
- Matthew 28:19, 20
- 1 Corinthians 11:23-26