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Session 22

Why you should care what other people think

Read: Proverbs 22

Everyone is born with a boatload of foolishness (Proverbs 22:15). Our natural tendency is to choose poorly and experience bad consequences. What toddler doesn't think it's great fun to stick a wet finger in an electrical outlet?

One thing a foolish person doesn't care about is his reputation. The screaming, crying 2-year-old being dragged out of the mall couldn't care less about how he looks. But God tells us that a good reputation is more valuable than riches (Proverbs 22:1). When all we want is wealth, we’ll waste anything to get it. When we guard a good name, we guard every area of our lives.

For example, people who value their reputations make wise financial decisions. They understand the pitfalls of borrowing money and co-signing for loans, the blessings of generosity, and the stupidity of taking advantage of the poor. They know it's easy to find excuses not to work, but hard workers are extraordinary and find themselves in extraordinary places (Proverbs 22:13 and Proverbs 22:29).

People who value their reputations guard their social lives. They won't cozy up to risky situations, immoral behavior, or hot-tempered people because they know entanglements there lead to disaster (Proverbs 22:3-8, Proverbs 22:14, Proverbs 22:24-25).

People who value their reputations guard what goes into their heads and comes out of their mouths so they are prepared to apply knowledge to a problem and speak words of wisdom when questioned (Proverbs 22:11-12, Proverbs 22:17-20).

People who value their reputations also value the reputations of their children and teach them to make wise choices (Proverbs 22:6, Proverbs 22:15).

And most importantly, when God’s people value their reputations they do so to bring glory to His name, not their own (Proverbs 22:4). Since foolishness doesn't disappear with age, the remedy is to learn the wisdom of God and then discipline ourselves to obey His instructions. The book of Proverbs is a great place to start.

Reflect:

  • It's never too late to act in wisdom in any area of your life. Choose a topic from this chapter (e.g. friends, finances, generosity, hard work) and ask the Lord how your choices can better reflect His wisdom in that area.
  • What is one thing you can change that will improve your reputation?

1

So you want to be wise?

So you want to be wise?

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2

The best way to find your way

The best way to find your way

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3

Is God mad at me?

Is God mad at me?

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4

You have access to a wealth of wisdom

You have access to a wealth of wisdom

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5

Flirting with trouble is more dangerous than you think

Flirting with trouble is more dangerous than you think

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6

Why you need to be leading you

Why you need to be leading you

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7

How to avoid getting pulled in again

How to avoid getting pulled in again

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8

How do we know what’s true?

How do we know what’s true?

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9

How to win in every disagreement

How to win in every disagreement

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10

Will they miss you when you’re gone?

Will they miss you when you’re gone?

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11

How are you measuring success in life?

How are you measuring success in life?

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12

Avoid fools if you don’t want to become one

Avoid fools if you don’t want to become one

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13

Lying won’t get you what you really want

Lying won’t get you what you really want

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14

The best place to find the truth is in the Bible

The best place to find the truth is in the Bible

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15

How to deal with anger

How to deal with anger

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16

Tomorrow is too big to try it alone

Tomorrow is too big to try it alone

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17

Use your words for good, not evil

Use your words for good, not evil

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18

Choose your words wisely

Choose your words wisely

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19

Learn to own your mistakes

Learn to own your mistakes

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20

Why the party scene won’t make you happy

Why the party scene won’t make you happy

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21

There’s no such thing as “get rich quick”

There’s no such thing as “get rich quick”

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22

Why you should care what other people think

Why you should care what other people think

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23

Passing down wisdom is the best gift you’ll give your kids

Passing down wisdom is the best gift you’ll give your kids

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24

With great wisdom comes great responsibility

With great wisdom comes great responsibility

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25

You can’t do the right thing without the right heart

You can’t do the right thing without the right heart

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26

How to know who is worthy of honor

How to know who is worthy of honor

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27

Is the way you handle conflict adding to the drama?

Is the way you handle conflict adding to the drama?

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28

What to look for in a leader

What to look for in a leader

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29

Why you should welcome discipline at any age

Why you should welcome discipline at any age

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30

Do you believe God is awesome?

Do you believe God is awesome?

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31

How to live a life of noble character

How to live a life of noble character

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