August 10/11 Empty Words

Aug 10/11 Empty Words

Welcome to week one of our sermon series called The Power of Words. In this series, we study the book of Proverbs to better understand God’s practical wisdom for everyday life. This week, we look at the power of our words to make promises, set plans and follow through, and the importance of being slow to rush into gossip or words we might regret.


Building healthy and life-giving relationships.


What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.

Share Part of Your Story

What wise sayings/proverbs did you hear growing up?  Who said those to you?


As you think about heading into the fall, what are some challenges you anticipate? How can your group help you with those?


Taking next steps toward Christ together.

Have a few people each read a few verses of Proverbs 1:1-7. Explain in your own words what a proverb is.  What are some common proverbs we use in our culture today?

Promising Words

Read Proverbs 25:14. Why was rain so vital to them?  How do you think they would have understood this proverb? What could this proverb mean for us today?

Why is it important to be someone who keeps their word and follows through on commitments? Why does it matter that we are aware of those who don’t keep their word?

How has an un-kept promise shaped the way you viewed others? What are some reasons that people tend to not follow through? What is one way you can guard against being someone untrustworthy and be a person who always follows through?

Only Words

Read Proverbs 14:23. What do you think this proverb means?

Jeff talked about the people of Nehemiah’s day, rolling up their sleeves and rebuilding their city wall in only 52 days.  How does this story exhibit the concept of someone who follows through with spoken words?

What are some reasons we might not do the work required to follow through on what we have been talking about doing? Who is someone you know who has done this well? Where do you feel like you need to be better at doing the work to follow through? What are some examples of critical things to talk about and noncritical items?

Too Many Words

Read Proverbs 10:19. What do you feel like the proverb conveys?

Gossip is destructive.  What are some reasons it is so destructive? Why do you think it is so easy to gossip?

When is it difficult to practice “thinking before we speak” in a culture full of opportunities to share our thoughts and words freely and frequently? Discuss kinds of situations where it would be helpful to repeat the phrase, “I will let my words be few.”

Read through James 1:19 and discuss the value of following James’ instruction or the folly of ignoring his words. How can our words get us into trouble?  Do you have an example of a time this happened to you? What did you learn from this experience?

What’s one step you can take today to guard yourself against empty promises, being a big talker with no follow-through, or talking too much and saying something you’ll regret?


Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.

Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.

Invite. With the launch of our fall series after Labor Day, who is new that you can invite to meet you at church? Maybe a friend, co-worker, or someone you volunteer with? Consider who you could invite and how your group can pray for you and them.

Download a printable PDF here.