[Thought questions for Behind the Mask March 3, 1015]
1. Introduction. Can people exalt themselves? Isn’t the approval of the other people needed for exaltation to happen? But what about Satan? Did he win a heavenly election? And don’t all of us, at times anyway, wish we could have more honor than life deals us? Stay tuned to see what some of the proverbs say about the futility of self-promotion.
2. The fool as wise. Your lesson author tosses in this observation: “fools are so foolish that they are not aware of their folly.” Is that irony? When you travel in other countries, do you sense a shift in what is seen as moral and proper? Or are there universal norms in right or wrong? What are some universal principles about what is right? and wrong? no matter where you are? or who you are? What is the only safe yardstick for determining what is right and what is wrong
3. The sluggard. Don’t miss the humor in Proverbs 26:15. Can you imagine a person so lazy he can’t bother lifting the spoon loaded with food to his lips? In Proverbs 26:13 we are invited to be amused at the person who says, “there is a lion in the road.” What does that say about the person making the comment? Do we ever treat serious problems in our church or family with that same degree of noninvolvement? What is the solution?
4. The friend as enemy, the enemy as friend. Have you ever had a friend treat you like an enemy? Or an enemy treat you like a friend? Why should you welcome advice and scoldings from your friends? What about warm emotions and friendly gestures from an enemy? How can you do these things? Ever get into an argument with a friend? How should such disagreements end? What can you do to be sure they do?
5. Learning to glorify God. All our deeds and all our conversation should have one ultimate purpose. What is it? What are some ways you have found helpful in putting Christ at the center of everything you say or do? “Ignorance is bliss” is an old expression, but it is true? Does God want us to blindly accept every principle that comes our way? Is it good for us not to know what we do not understand about the Bible? If not, how do we learn to understand better what God has to say to us?