Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. What is your favorite proverb or witty saying? From whom did you learn it? Where does it apply?
2. In forming your own opinion of political candidates and office holders, what sources do you listen to and why? Which do you ignore and why?
3. Following the last two verses of Proverbs 17, what does this chapter say about a fool’s tongue (lips, mouth)? How do these proverbs relate to the forming and articulating of opinions? Which three relate to eating? Which one best sums up all the others?
4. What is the meaning of “deep waters” (verse 4; see also Proverbs 20:5)? How does the “bubbling brook” of wisdom differ from the profundity, obscurity or secrecy of “deep waters”?
5. Which proverbs convey principles of justice for rich and poor alike (see verses 5, 16, 17, 19, 23)? Why do you think favoritism of any kind is uniformly condemned in the Scriptures? How might the Lord deal justly with the “fortified cities” of verses 11 and 19?
6. What does this chapter say about finding and keeping your brothers, friends, even your life mate?
7. What is the main point of verses 13 and 17, taken together? As a guiding principle, how would you apply this to raising children? To formulating doctrine? Deliberating legal cases? Conducting scientific experiments? Making public policy?
8. Where in your life does this guiding principle (from Question #7) apply? What use of this proverbial wisdom does James 1:19 – 27 make? What difference would “listening before speaking” make in your church congregation? In personal relationships? In your righteous living and pure religion?
9. How can you tell a closed mind from an open mind (verses 2, 13, 17)? How do you feel around such people? Which is more characteristic of you?
10. Could your spirit sustain you in sickness? Or does it crush you? Why?
11. How might you strengthen your spirit so that it can sustain you, and so that you are a source of life to others?
12. The tongue (speech) has “the power of life and death” (verse 21). What are some examples of life? Of death?
13. What kind of friend or sibling are you?