Bible Study: Be kind to neighbors
This week's Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.
Bible Passages: Proverbs 3:21-35
-- How are expressing fairness and compassion related to our level of trust in God?
-- What are some excuses a person may use to avoid helping another person?
Food for thought:
There he sat on the side of the road. The inner tube in his bicycle's front tire decided it had all it could stand. The situation was obvious. One after another, they passed giving an empathetic glimpse but none stopping to help. They all had reasons: not qualified, late for an important meeting, wearing his best shoes. Each watched in the rearview mirror as the bicyclist changed the tube, realizing the bicyclist was capable and prepared for such an incident.
That somehow made the guilt of not stopping go away as they continued to watch in the mirrors. Besides, the cyclist wasn't asking for help and appeared to know what he was doing anyway. As each car passed, the cyclist wondered what he would have done had he been one of the drivers. He began to wonder how many times he had justified not showing compassion or taking action to help another person.
In Proverbs 3, Solomon reminded his readers about showing compassion to others. He first pointed to a growing confidence in God (v. 26). As a person's confidence in God grows so too would their desire to demonstrate kindness to neighbors, living in light of the blessings of God. In verses 27-30, Solomon gave four examples of ways the Lord expects His people to treat others with fairness and compassion.
First, when it is in our power, we don't withhold good from others. Second, when we encounter a need, we act immediately and without excuse. Third, the person who follows godly wisdom not only proactively acts to help his neighbor, but resists harming his neighbor. Fourth, the wise believer will not participate in slander or community gossip.
Nothing is more rewarding than being faithful to God -- even when others do not understand our humble service and even when it is not reciprocated. The point is to be faithful to God; the point is not what we get in return. We do it because of what God has already done for us, serving as a testimony of the difference God's grace and forgiveness make in our lives.
Explore the Bible
Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.