Key Scriptures: Proverbs 1:5, 19:27, 23:23, 2:1-9, 9:8-9, 10:17, 17:10, 13:10, 12:15, 19:20, 3:7, 26:12, 3:7, 14:27, 19:23, 14:26, 23:17-18, 10:27, 15:16, 8:13, 13:20, 12:26, 14:16, 8:13
Guiding Question: What are the characteristics of a wise person?
Optional Introductory Activity: Have the names of various people in the Bible written on index cards. Have students take turns randomly drawing a card. They must then state whether that person was wise or foolish and back up their choice with examples. If a number of students don’t know their Bible stories, you can divide the class into teams or do it together as a class.
Lesson: (Questions for students are in bold italics.) What are some of the characteristics of a wise person? (Answers will vary. Record student answers where they can be seen by everyone.) Have students explain the characteristics they mention and why they think someone who has that characteristic is wise. Read the following scriptures without revealing the category. After the scriptures in each category have been read, ask students what characteristic is discussed. If it is not a characteristic they initially mentioned, add it to your list.
- They listen to the Bible and to those who are wiser than them: Proverbs 1:5, 19:27, 23:23, 2:1-9
- They learn from correction: Proverbs 9:8-9, 10:17, 17:10
- They learn from advice: Proverbs 13:10, 12:15, 19:20
- They don’t think they already know everything: Proverbs 3:7, 26:12
- They fear the Lord: Proverbs 3:7, 14:27, 19:23, 14:26, 23:17-18, 10:27, 15:16, 8:13 (Note: Students may struggle with the concept of fearing God. Popular culture has eliminated the side of God, which demands obedience, reverence and punishes those who reject God and His commands. You may need to spend time helping students understand this concept is a very real and necessary part of serving God.)
- They choose friends who are wise: Proverbs 13:20, 12:26
- They avoid sin: Proverbs 14:16, 8:13
Which things on our list are easy for you? Which ones are difficult? Is there anything else you would add to the list? What can you do to help you remember and practice the characteristics on our list? What are some of the earthly benefits of being wise?
Application Challenge: Continue reading a chapter of Proverbs each day. Write down any additional characteristics of a wise person you read in those chapters. Pick one characteristic of a wise person with which you struggle and make an extra effort to practice it this week.
Author: Thereasa Winnett