Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2017
Texts: Proverbs 1–3; Genesis 1:1; Exodus 19:16; 20:20; Proverbs 11:30; 13:12; 15:4
So, have you made any New Year’s resolutions? About 45 percent of Americans make commitments this time of year. Most focus on self-improvement or education related issues. Three other major areas include losing weight, dealing with money problems, and matters related to relationships.
The top 10 New Year’s resolutions slightly change from year to year and most lists don’t exactly agree. But, they’re all pretty similar. Here’s a sample from the United States government: 1) Lose weight, 2) Volunteer to help others, 3) Quit smoking, 4) Get a better education, 5) Get a better job, 6) Save money, 7) Get fit, 8) Eat healthy food, 9) Manage stress, 10) Manage debt.1
Before you laugh off the idea of making promises to change, keep in mind that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than those who don’t.2 The experts give us these basic tips for sticking with resolutions: 1) Make your goal attainable, 2) Accept the fact that you will sometimes mess up, 3) Stay motivated and committed. It’s better to be realistic that change is hard, but worthwhile.3
This quarter in our Sabbath school lesson we’ll focus on a book in Scripture that is filled with practical wisdom for living a healthier and happier life. If you need deep insights on what truly matters, if you struggle to sort through priorities, if you want advice on managing money, or feel challenged raising your kids, this book is filled with short and simple sayings that are trustworthy.
The world calls us to follow its pathways to success. Many respond to biddings of wealth and pleasure. Popular music and cultural fads point us to answers that promise an everlasting smile on our faces. But too often we discover we have been deluded. A deceiver continues to offer us forbidden fruit that leads to death.
Proverbs is a call from God to follow the true path of wisdom. Freedom does not come from despising God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7, NKJV). Acknowledging God as our Creator is the first step toward achieving a fulfilled life. As the One who made us, we can be sure of God’s wisdom when making resolutions.
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