Those without a filter have a penchant for hurting others, but
they either don’t care or can’t seem to see it.
They post hurtful things on Facebook, kindling strife.
They quote Romans 8:28 to the friend who just miscarried.
With non-morning folks, they are boisterous and cheerful.
Those without a filter find themselves losing friends.
But if we are honest, we all have been insensitive.
We all need to check our filter.
God has gifted us with Proverbs
to keep our filter working and
Next week we’ll start a new study in Proverbs (The Fool). This is a good time to invite friends to join in and study with you!
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. How have you spied God at work in your life in the last 24 hours?
Monday: Sensitivity with Those in Grief
Though I’ve been through grief myself, and have written about how to help those in high-tide grief, I have still blown it. When faced with someone in incredible pain, I so want to help, that I stammer and say something stupid, offering a bandaid for their gaping wound, and in so doing, exacerbating their already incredible pain. Solomon warns:
I won’t ask you to pour vinegar on a wound to see how it feels, but another translation of Proverbs 25:20 says “like pouring vinegar on soda.” Get a little baking soda and put it on a plate, and pour vinegar on it.
3. How did the baking soda react? What does this tell you? (If nothing happened your soda may be too old — so use the metaphor of taking away a coat in winter.) What is Solomon saying?
4. Read Romans 12:15
A. How should we respond to those who are mourning?
B. How is this a contrast to Proverbs 25:20?
C. Why might even quoting scripture to someone who has just suffered great loss actually increase pain?
5. When you look back to the past, how did you spy God through friends at a time of grief?
Tuesday: Sensitivity on Social Media
More than ever, people today have deep feelings about political issues, and there is a great divide. If we feel led to handle a hot potato, it calls for the greatest sensitivity: listening ears, eye contact, a teachable heart, and repeating what was said to show you really heard, and endeavoring to see the heart behind it….but that is not how people without a filter handle explosive topics. Twitter, Facebook…and all social media is a dangerous medium to attempt honest discussions — so why it continues, I do not know, except for the depravity of our hearts and the fact that fools love to start arguments. It can be tempting to enter in when you see an insensitive comment from someone, but especially as believers, we need to realize that we may be spreading a flame that keeps others from seriously considering Christ. A person with a weak filter may be prone to starting or spreading arguments.
6. What does Proverbs 18:2 say — and why is this representative of a person who airs his opinions on social media?
7. Read Proverbs 26:21
A. How is a quarrelsome man described here?
B. Look at the proverb preceding and following this one — though they address gossip, I think the juxtaposition also gives insight into why some like to start quarrels. What do you see — and do you agree?
C. I keep remembering the grandmother who told her practicing gay grandson “That is a way, but it’s not the best way, because it is not God’s way.” In the same way, if you do enjoy discussions about hot potatoes, what is the best way to handle them with sensitivity? What is God’s way?
8. If you use social media, what filters (guidelines) do you have that help you be edifying instead of destructive?
Wednesday: Sensitivity About Humor
My children have teased me that April Fool’s Day is my favorite holiday, and while I did have fun with them when they were children, I truly did try to do things that I think they actually liked. I came to their schools with an umbrella singing “April Showers” and passing out donuts. Though they said they were embarrassed, I knew which children would like it and which would truly not. But it really is tricky to do a prank, and after one April Fool’s joke went very wrong, I stopped. Pranks, I have come to realize, are like handling dynamite. They can explode and truly hurt someone.
9. What does Proverbs 26:18-19 teach? What is appropriate and inappropriate humor?
10. How have you spied God in the last 24 hours?
Thursday: A Friend Knows When To Cover An Offense
When Noah got drunk (and it may have been because of his naivety about wine) his son Ham lacked a filter and gossiped about it, but Noah’s other sons walked in backward and covered their father. We all are going to do things that are offensive and sinful, but a friend with a filter has the discernment to know when to keep your secret out of love.
A. What happened?
B. How did Shem and Japheth honor their father?
12. What does Proverbs 17:9 teach?
13. How might you apply this?
Friday: A Person with A Good Filter Practices Discretion
My husband and I often used “proverb skits” for family devotions. We’d each take a child (or two) and plan a skit and come back and acts it out for the other group. I know it put it into their hearts. Some of their favorite skits were on the funnier proverbs such as the following:
15. What do you think Proverbs 11:22 means?
16. What kind of behavior describes a woman without discretion (without a filter!)? When have you displayed this kind of indiscretion?
This isn’t, of course, just applicable to women. Now that I play the male-dominated game of pickle-ball, I see men who claim Christ yet lack a filter. They swear, slam the ball dangerously at women, refuse to help beginners, and lose their tempers. I do think that maturity in Christ develops the heart that has a filter. You can’t tell someone: “Be sensitive!” They need the Spirit of the living God to put that desire and that sensitivity in their heart.
17. For your God Hunt today, share a proverb that has impacted your behavior and explain how.
18. What is your take-a-way this week and why?