Just as Solomon made a difference, you
can make a difference in the lives of others -- in
your family, school, church, community, and world!
The world needs you -- your ideas, your compassion,
and your spiritual outlook. And, it's never too late
to start contributing. The best gifts are those from
Background on Proverbs
Proverbs are wise sayings that guide us in our lives,
warn us of dangers, explain how to succeed, and encourage
us to learn. They also promote the pursuit of wisdom.
Most of the sayings in the book of Proverbs are from
Solomon, who, according to the Bible, "spake
three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand
and five" (I Kings 4:32). That's a lot of proverbs!
But Solomon was known for his wisdom. When he was
a young man becoming king, "the Lord appeared
to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask
what I shall give thee" (I Kings 3:5). Solomon
asked God for wisdom to rule effectively. God gave
him "a wise and an understanding heart; so that
there was none like [him]" (12). He also gave
him "riches, and honour" and promised to
make him live longer if he would follow God's commandments
How many of us, when given the chance to ask for
whatever we want, would ask for wisdom -- without
any strings attached -- like Solomon did? He was amazingly
wise and humble. The effect was that he became legendary
in wisdom and riches.
You can make a difference
Decide individually to search for and gain wisdom:
- Humbly ask God for wisdom -- and mean it.
- Ask God for wisdom when you really would rather
ask Him to make sure you can get something you want
(like a bike, car, money) or do something you want
(like go to a concert, get on the tennis team, pass
the SATs with flying colors).
- Then, in every situation, whether big or small,
listen to what God tells you to do.
- Take action based on God's answers.
- Don't be afraid to stop and change what you are
doing if God guides you differently.
Start a "wisdom circle" and work with others
to become wiser.
- The concept of wisdom circles has already been
- Its purpose is "to give voice to the values
of compassionate community and the [sic] make integrity
a visible force in the world" (www.wisdomcircle.org/intro.html).
It's a way for people to get together, make connections,
and make a difference in their own and others' lives.
- There are guidelines for the wisdom circle.
- Get a group of people together. It might be nice
to make sure that there are some "new"
faces -- people who don't already know each other.
- Figure out when you're going to meet, your purpose,
and the guidelines you will follow.
- You may want to leave the duration of your wisdom
You may want to vary the exact purpose or structure
of your time together in your wisdom circle and make
it unique to your community and the people around
you. So, here are some ideas for things to do:
- Decide on the purpose and goals for your group.
You may have multiple goals and/or different ones
for each time you meet. Some possibilities are:
- to learn more about each other and have fun;
- to help out people in school who need help;
- to learn what real wisdom is;
- to grow spiritually;
- to learn more about the Bible and how it
affects our lives.
- Ways to achieve your goals:
- Movies can be thought-provoking. Find some
good ones (often not in the mainstream media).
- Attend them together or rent them on video/DVD.
- Have dinner or dessert afterward and discuss
the ideas in them.
- "What the #$*! Do We Know" is
an excellent movie to watch which is currently
out (September). It talks about the power
of thought to affect our lives. It deals
with quantum physics, the concept of unity,
and the idea of infinite possibilities.
GO SEE IT! Other movies - "Serendipity,"
"Matrix" (the first one), "Gandhi,"
"Sliding Doors," "The Gods
Must Be Crazy," "Being There,"
"Wag the Dog"
- Books are good sources for ideas and information.
Select a book of the month. You might want to
ask other people for ideas on good books.
- They could be on anything that you're
interested in -- relationships, spirituality,
business ethics, the environment, history,
wisdom. Possible books to consider: And
There Was Light, Mutant Messages Down Under,
The DaVinci Code, Fingerprints of the Gods,
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, The
Dance of Anger, You Can Be Happy No Matter
What, A Story Like the Wind and A Far Off
Place, Watership Down, Fahrenheit 451, Harry
Potter series, The Lord of the Rings
- The book could be the Bible. If it is,
make sure you come to the discussions to
share ideas and inspiration, not to push
your own agenda or theology. Last month's
of the Month discusses how important
it is to be open and allow each person to
have his or her own ideas.
- Read them and then meet to discuss the
issues over lunch or dinner or a picnic.
- Have a "Hot Topic" issues circle.
- If people have certain issues they want
to bring up, have those issues be the purpose
of the meeting.
- Look at what's involved.
- Work together to find solutions.
- Do NOT make these gossip sessions.
- You might want to read and discuss the
articles from "Hot Topics" or
the interviews from "Guest of the Month."
- Have a "Make a Difference" circle.
- Look at past and current Make a Difference
- Come up with your own ways to make a
- Implement the ideas you discuss.
- These "wisdom circles" should be making
a positive influence in your lives.
Here are some proverbs that remind us why wisdom
is so important:
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;
and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my
commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine
ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up
thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as
silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and
find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom:
out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is
a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth
the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his
saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness,
and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When
wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is
pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve
thee, understanding shall keep thee:
Enjoy becoming wise and sharing your wisdom with