Spiritual Growth Agendas
Life doesn’t offer us a rewind, pause, or fast forward button. We must live it as wisely as we can.
This discussion starter is pretty easy to pull off, and if done well, can offer a few laughs along the way. All you need to do is get two to four leaders (student and/or adult) and have them act out a particular sketch of their choosing in front of the group.
You can pick a favorite scene from a movie, a section of lyrics from a well known song, a particular Bible story, or just make one up. Think goofy or overly dramatic for the best effect. For instance, you might say, “You guys are going to act out two princes arguing over a princess (or vice versa),” or “ballet auditions…with sumo wrestlers,” or “Jesus and Peter walking on water.”
Here’s the important part. Explain to the “actors” that you will occasionally shout out “REWIND!” “PAUSE!” or “FAST FORWARD!” during the sketch. When that happens, the actors must respond in kind. For “rewind,” they must repeat what just happened. For “pause,” they must pause right where they are. And for “fast forward,” they must move and speak in a hurried manner.
Have fun with it. Do a couple of different scenes. Switch actors in and out. Just make it your own.
OK, that was a lot of fun. You guys make some noise for our actors and actresses. It was interesting watching them act out these scenes. Not only did they have the challenge of telling us a story through their acting, their task was compounded by the fact that sometimes they had to rewind, fast forward, or pause right where they were. Some of you might be thinking, “Man, I wish I had a fast forward button. I could get outta this stage of life and onto something more exciting.” Others of you might wish you had a rewind button so you could go back and do something over again. Still others might think you could benefit from a pause button. You could take extra time in making decisions. But here’s the deal: life doesn’t offer us a rewind, pause, or fast forward button. So, we must live it as wisely as we can. Let’s spend a few minutes looking at how the Bible says we can do that.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and your favorite part of the skits we just saw.
- ASK A FEW: Do you think the rewind, pause, and fast forward commands made the sketches easier or harder? Why?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think rewind, pause, or fast forward buttons would make life easier or harder? Why?
- ASK A FEW: If you could choose between having one of those buttons to use in your life, which one would it be? How would you use it?
- ASK A FEW: What are some of the biggest regrets people your age would like to rewind and change?
- ASK A FEW: What are some of the biggest decisions people your age face that would be benefited by having a pause button?
- ASK A FEW: What are the things in life that people your age would use a fast forward button to race ahead in life to get to earlier?
- ASK A FEW: How would your life be different if you had one of those buttons?
Read the following passage:
ASK A FEW: This passage talks about wisdom? What is that? Is it the same as intelligence or knowledge? (Leaders – This may sound like a simple question but don’t assume your students know what wisdom is or the difference between it and knowledge. Intelligence and knowledge might mean “knowing a lot of stuff,” but wisdom shows us how to apply all that information in a way that best serves God, ourselves, and others.)
ASK A FEW: What are some of the many benefits of wisdom according to this passage?
ASK A FEW: Of all those benefits, which sounds the most appealing to you? Which could you use the most?
ASK A FEW: How does wisdom get us these rewards? Can anyone think of any examples?
ASK A FEW: If you had more wisdom in your life, do you think you would need a rewind, pause, or fast forward button? Why or why not?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: A moment ago, I asked you how your life would be different if you had one of those buttons. But we all know that having one of them is impossible. So instead, let me ask you, in what ways would your life be different if you displayed more wisdom?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: Name just one area of your life that you apply more wisdom in starting tonight.
Proverbs 3:13-26 (NIV)
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. 19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; 20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. 21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; 24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, 26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Our time together showed us what various scenes would look like if we could pause, rewind, and fast forward whenever we wanted. But the reality that we’re confronted with is this: we don’t have access to those buttons in life, so we have to forge a different plan.
As you’ve seen, the Bible would suggest to you and me that we need to model wisdom in our words, thoughts, and actions. The Bible lists lots and lots of benefits that spring from wisdom; we read about them in our small group discussions.
Think about it like this. Somebody says something mean or hurtful to us. If we say something mean in return, we might live to regret it and want to “rewind” to that moment and handle it differently. But since that’s not an option, we need to have the wisdom to know how to handle that situation the first time around. Instead of saying something mean in return, we might be honest with that person and tell them they hurt our feelings. We might even choose to pray for them. That’s wisdom.
Wisdom could also be applied to our time management. For instance, let’s say you have a huge project due on Monday at school, but your friends want to go to the beach for the weekend. The fun stuff is calling, but wisdom warns you to work hard instead. Only one will lead to a blessing.
There are tons of examples we could discuss, but the bottom line is this: we need to live as wisely as we can because so much is riding on the line. Our family is counting on us. Our friends are counting on us. Even God is counting on us. The only way to help others and please Him is to live wisely.
In a moment, I’m going to pray and thank God for giving us wisdom in life. After all, it is a gift from Him. Then, I’m going to ask Him to help each of us live our lives more wisely so we will be blessed and He will be glorified in our lives. After I’ve prayed, if you want to talk more about a particular situation or regret or decision you’re facing, I invite you to come talk with me or one of our adult leaders. We’d love to help you navigate life with wisdom.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith