We created this free lesson (see below) so you can help your students be “wise”, which at it’s core means students know the right thing to do (God’s way of living) AND actually do it.
The lesson is built around Proverbs 1:7 and unpacks these 3 steps to becoming wise: 1) Rely on God. 2) Think before you act. 3) Use failure as your teacher.
Teenagers often made bad choices and end up experiencing the negative consequences of those decisions.
Think back to when you were a teenager. How many stupid decisions did you make? I made A LOT!
In fact, in this quick video I share A REALLY DUMB decision that I made at 14 years old. Yes, it involves a car and…well…check it out (and then download the free lesson below):
Enjoy the lesson!
Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
Youth Group Lesson on Wisdom
Bible: “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” – Proverbs 1:7
The Point: Wisdom is living life God’s way. It’s not just knowing the right thing to do, but doing actually doing the right thing. Three steps to being wise: 1) Rely on God. 2) Think before you act. 3) Use failure as your teacher.
Supplies Newspaper, masking tape, chairs, soda cans.
Large enough space for teams to be able to work building a bridge between two chairs.
Split your entire group into equal teams of five or so. Each team will get equal amounts of newspaper, one roll of masking tape, and two chairs. The goal is to see which team can create the strongest bridge from chair to chair, with the chairs being 2 feet apart, using only the newspaper and masking tape. Give them a good amount of time to do this, maybe 10 minutes. Once the time is up, they will all need to step away. The strength of their bridge will be measured by how many soda cans it can hold. The team whose bridge holds the most cans before breaking, wins.
If your bridge wasn’t built right, it didn’t hold too many soda cans. Today we’re going to be talking about how we need to build our lives on the strong foundation of “wisdom”, so that we don’t make big messes in our lives.
Teach – Wisdom
In the Bible, there is a book called Proverbs. It is filled with information about wisdom. Let’s look at a verse that is the underlying theme for everything that is found in Proverbs. “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” – Proverbs 1:7
Respect for God
The “fear of the Lord” is a frequently used phrase in the Bible. The word “fear” used in this phrase has a different meaning than what we use the word for today. When we say we fear something, we usually mean it scares us. In this context, it means utmost respect, honor, or reverence. In other words, true respect and reverence of the deepest kind for God is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom starts here. You respect, revere, and have faith in God that He knows what He is doing, that His plan is the right plan.
Two Parts to Wisdom
Now, let’s tackle the word “wisdom”. When we think of wisdom, we might think of an old smart dude with a beard, wearing glasses and a robe…or something like that. Ha! The word wisdom to us means “smart”. You know a lot of stuff. Kind a like you studied really hard in history all year and got an A. So, you’re pretty wise when it come to history. The Biblical definition of wisdom is much different. There are two parts. #1 – You know the right thing to do (how to live God’s way). #2 – AND you do it! In the case of living a “wise” God honoring live life, it means you know how to live God’s way AND you actually do it.
Wisdom is Protection
There is an amount of “protection” when you are “wise” and put God’s way of life into action. Check out this verse: Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! – Proverbs 4:6-7a (NLT) Wisdom—living life according to God’s plan—protects you. If you think about it, it makes sense. God’s plan is the best plan for your life. The ability to live that out can protect you from the alternatives that are not what is best for you. Now, of course, just because you make wise choices you’re not protected from bad things happening to you. Sometimes, others make choices that affect you, and you have to live with those consequences. But when you live a “wise” life, you’re protected from the negative consequences of your bad choices.
Here are three steps to living a “wise” life:
#1 Rely on God.
This one seems like a no brainer, right? But how often do we make choices because it’s what we want to do, and then end up paying the price for a bad decision? I’ve been there about a thousand times. It’s always best to rely on God for the best thing to do in a situation. Even if what you want to do is different, trust that God’s way is better. (Share a story where you relied on God for making a decision. Talk about the struggle of what you wanted to do verses what the right thing to do. Then, talk about what happened as a result of relying and trusting on God.) The starting point to being “wise” is relying on God, trusting that his way is always the best way.
#2 Think before you act.
Not too long ago, I was furious at a guy behind me driving just a few feet behind my rear bumper. He was really irritating me, so I stopped the car, got out and started yelling at him. As I did, I was humbled when realizing it was a 75 year old man! Ha 🙂 Next time it could be a 250 pound weight lifter who eats me for lunch! After a few minutes of cooling down, I realized how stupid that was. How often do you NOT think before you act? You just react to a situation without thinking. You yell at your mom because you think she’s nagging you. You drink a few beers and then drive home. You’re stressed about passing the test so you cheat. Just this one time. The list goes on. You would make a lot more “wise” decisions if you just paused before acting and took a second to think about the possible outcomes of that decision. Doing this one thing would save you a lot grief. Seriously.
3. Use failure as your teacher.
The truth is, you’re going to make a lot of stupid decisions that have negative consequences. You’re human. We all mess up. Welcome to the club. When you do mess up, use it as a learning experience. Don’t just go through the pain of your bad decision. Learn from it. In fact, think back to your last dumb decision you made. Take a second to think of it. (Pause for a minute) Now, think about the consequence of that decision. (Pause for a minute) The big question is… What did you learn from it? When you learn from your mistakes, over time you become wise. Some of the wisest people I know made some of the most stupid decisions in their past. But they didn’t keep making them over and over. They learned from each one. Do the same. End in prayer.
Small Group Discussion Questions
Why is it hard to trust God’s way rather than your way? Share a time when you went your way rather than God’s way. What happened? Do you think it’s a good idea to think before you act? Why or why not? Share a time when you really messed up and did something stupid. What happened? What did you learn from the experience?
Liked this lesson? You’ll also like this one…