Great poetry awakens the imagination and appeals to our emotions. Simple artistic writing and imagery can surprise us with life changing wisdom. God is the creator of all things beautiful and speaks to us through Psalms, Proverbs, and other “wisdom books.” This week, we’ll learn how to read these genres of the Bible and how can help us express ourselves to God and wisely follow Jesus.
Group Discussion Guide
To see the leader guide for this week click here.
Spend a few minutes discussing with your group how their application of last week’s group discussion went. What were the highs and lows of their last week?
After your time of connecting, begin your meeting with prayer.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.”
Expressing ourselves can sometimes be a tricky practice. Even with the many ways people are invited to share their experiences in our culture, it can come with a measure of fear that we will not be accepted for who we are. God, however, through the inclusion of poetry and wisdom literature in the Bible, shows that he is always inviting us to be fully human. Reading the genre of biblical poetry gives examples of how we can be vulnerable or praise God for the good things of this world through creativity and art. Wisdom literature gives instructions that start and end with how we can live well if we live through the love of God, inviting us to be genuine and share what we learn through our experiences in life. Both poetry and wisdom are forms of writing that can inform us of the invitation that God gives for us to be real and expressive and to follow his wise direction in life at the same time.
Big Idea For The Week
Through the lens of biblical poetry/wisdom, we can see God’s accepting love for us.
- Growing up, how were emotions and/or creativity viewed in your home or church? How was wisdom viewed?
- What kind of creative activities did you like to do as a child? Why did those specific activities appeal to you? How do you still find time to be creative?
- When do you take time to listen to the wisdom of others? Why do you allow your life to be guided by this wisdom?
This week, we will be looking at some examples in the genre of biblical poetry and wisdom to see how we can grow in our relationship with God better through our interaction with them. Read the following verses, paying attention to how the author expresses themselves within them, then discuss the connected questions together.
Read + Discuss
- Psalms 18:1-15
- Sometimes, biblical poetry expresses an experience that, most likely, did not literally happen; however, the author expresses the way an experience felt, in the moment to relay truth about God and to praise him.
- What do you think the author was trying to explain about how they felt in the verses you just read?
- If you are comfortable, share a time in your life when you have felt like the author.
- How can expressing yourself in a vulnerable and/or creative way be beneficial in growing your relationship with God?
Read + Discuss
- Proverbs 3:13-18
- What do you think the author of these verses is trying to explain? Why did they use poetry to express this?
- What do you think the relationship between emotional expression and wise living is?
- How often do you try to “embrace wisdom”, as it says in verse 18? How has this affected your life?
Based on the verses we just read, there are some things that we can do in response. Take a moment to discuss these questions as a group to decide what your personal action steps for the week can be:
- What is one way you can begin to express yourself creatively to grow in your relationship with God this week?
- What steps can you put into place to embrace Godly wisdom this next week?
- How can the group help make these action steps a priority in our lives from now on?
Thankfully, God is multifaceted and has given us examples of how to follow him in many ways. He wants us to be fully human and be able to be creative and express ourselves in ways that are healthy, while also listening to wisdom that will help us obey him better. This week, try to use both poetry and wisdom literature as a basis for how to see his love and grow closer to him.
Daily Bible Reading
Use the S.O.A.P. method to reflect on the verses below.
Scripture: Read the verses several times out loud.
Observation: As you read the scripture what do you observe.
Application: What is God wanting you to believe, do or feel based on what you have read?
Pray: This is a chance to talk to God about what you have read, and ask him for help in living out what you’ve learned.
- Day 1: Proverbs 2:1-2
- Day 2: Song of Solomon 5:1-2
- Day 3: John 5:20
- Day 4: Ephesians 5:15-17
- Day 5: Proverbs 16:16
- Day 6: Philippians 4:8