Welcome to week two 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 wise sayings that challenge how we do or do not speak thoughtfully.
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
Do you have a favorite verse or proverb? Share it with the group.
What do you need the group to pray for as you go into the new school or fall season?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read the first line of Proverbs 15:28 slowly. Pause and then reread the line. Pause and read the verse a third time, then have everyone sit quietly for a few minutes. What was it like to sit quietly and meditate on those words?
Think back to last week. How often did you pause to think before you talk-talk-talked? What ways did you find to implement this new habit?
Read Proverbs 27:1-2. What is something from these verses that seems counter-cultural?
We may all get caught in the trap of wanting to boast about accomplishments. Have you ever met someone who never praises themselves, but always talks well of others? What were those interactions like?
Not only do we enjoy bragging about what we have done, but we also tend to brag about what we are planning to do. Why do you think this is such an appealing way to speak? What have you experienced when someone talks this way to you?
What do you think about the practice of repeating the phrase “not my job” to yourself?
Documenting everything we do is normal in a world where many feel we need “pictures, or it didn’t happen.” What makes getting wrapped up in posting all of our “bests” so addicting? When can it be positive, and when does it have a negative effect? How could we begin to break this habit?
Read Proverbs 12:22. Talk about the difference between the words “detest” and “delight.” Why do you think the writer of this proverb chose those words? What do you think about these being some of God’s feelings?
We know that God is truth, as Jesus specifically takes that title in Scripture. Talk about what it means for his followers to tell the truth or to lie. When do you think people are most likely to lie? What are some times when you may be most vulnerable to be dishonest?
How could you take a moment to say a prayer before you respond when you are tempted to exaggerate or say something that isn’t true?
How would it be helpful to repeat the phrase, “Is it true?”
We can be very truthful and yet cause harm to the people around us. When have you experienced someone else’s unnecessary honesty? Have you ever spoken the truth and regretted it? Consider telling the group what happened.
Our words can significantly influence the people we speak to. Talk about times when someone said something that encouraged you and a time when someone said something that made you feel awful or caused anxiety.
We know that our words are powerful, and sometimes we keep them to ourselves when we need to speak up. Who needs to hear something encouraging from you? Make a note to plan this week to say something kind to them.
Consider going around the room and have each group member say something intentionally encouraging and positive about the other members. It may feel awkward at first, but this could be a very powerful experience for your group.
This week we talked about how our words need to be humble, honest and kind. Which of these tends to be the most challenging for you? What is one way you intend to work on that this week?
INVEST IN OTHERS
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.
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.
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