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Overview to the Lesson
This lesson gave the teens an opportunity to take a look at the Proverbs and to see how they are applicable in day-to-day life. We started with a talk, using an overhead projector and a transparency. This was followed by group sessions, in which the teens looked at verses (which they selected) and planned how they would share their findings with the others, when the groups got together again.
[TODAY (10 years later): We would use a digital projector and a slide show. The transparency would probably be split into several slides.]
We first discussed what a "proverb" was, and three of the different ways they should be used. (Not all proverbs are intended to be used the same way, and if we don't know that fact, we could reach wrong conclusions about some of them.)
The following link takes you to what was on the transparency. It probably doesn't have to be on an overhead transparency, but that worked best for us. You may need to change it some, or you could pick other verses that illustrate the three types of proverbs mentioned.
I used a different translation for the talk, but because of copyright issues (the percentage of the page that could be comprised of Scripture verses), I had to use a different translation for the copy I put on the internet.
Proverbs 14:20-21, not on the transparency, is another good example - a passage that illustrates two different types of proverbs. In reference to the way people treat the poor, it describes both "the wrong way things are" and "the right way they should be." People tend to do what verse 20 describes, but we should be doing what verse 21 says.
Individual Verse Worksheet:
I probably wouldn't recommend this worksheet if you were going to study each verse in the book of Proverbs, simply due to the amount of paper it would take. But it might be a good place for a person to start, if he hasn't looked at the Proverbs before.
This worksheet was originally made for a different purpose, but was adapted for our use in this lesson. In this case, we didn't use the last two parts of the worksheet (which focus on self-evaluation after the person has had opportunity to try applying the proverb in his life).
Each of the small groups presented its observations to the others (when everyone got together again), using whatever technique they wanted, to communicate what they learned.
For those who might be interested, I provided extra copies of the above worksheet (so they could try it at home), as well as an article about the nature of Proverbs. (This article is located elsewhere on the Journal33.org website.)
Dennis Hinks © 2005