Winning is fun, isn’t it? No one ever starts a basketball game hoping to lose. We don’t go to band practice because we want to take last place in our competition. We don’t start a video game wanting our character to be eliminated first. No way. We play to win. Why? Because winning is awesome. It feels great. In fact, sports and video games probably aren’t the only place you want to be a winner. Do you want to be successful when it comes to school? Sure! How about money? Your future? Dating? You probably answered “all of the above”. Basically we all want to win at life. And while there’s no way to guarantee you will win in every area, there are some things you can do to help you get there.
In fact, there’s an entire book in the Bible, the book of Proverbs, dedicated to giving solid advice that can help us win at life. During this series, we’ll take a look at five verses from Proverbs that can set you up for the win in the areas you care about the most.
Session One: Whitewater Rafting
Have you ever been whitewater rafting? It’s a blast. You jump in a boat with your friends and make your way down a river, laughing and splashing along the way. But there’s also something terrifying that can happen—rapids. There are places in every river where something stirs up the water and if you aren’t careful, you and your friends can be headed for disaster. You don’t have to be in a boat to feel that way with your friends. Maybe this sounds familiar. Things are going fine. Everyone is happy. Then your friendship hits some rapids. There’s drama. And if we aren’t careful, sometimes our responses create more problems than before. But what else can we do? King Solomon, the author of Proverbs, tells us we have another option when it comes to conflict with those closest to us. And while his words don’t guarantee we’ll never see rapids in our friendships, they do help us steer around them and find our way to calmer waters.
Session Two: Gonna
We all love to talk about what we’re going to do. Maybe you plan to get your grades up or make varsity this year. Maybe you’re going to finally clean out your room or finish the history paper that’s still sitting on your desk. The problem is that when it comes to our future, there’s a big difference between wanting to do something and actually doing it. We can all think of one or two things we have been wanting to accomplish but can’t quite seem to get to the finish line. It’s not that we’re lazy or bad people. We just have a lot going on, and it’s easy to get distracted. Add a few of those unfinished projects together and it starts to feel overwhelming. We’re even less motivated to get started. It’s a cycle. Maybe that’s why the book of Proverbs gives us some good advice making sure the things we want to do actually happen. Through the wise words of King Solomon, we find that, though it won’t be easy, the key to reaching our goals may be as simple as taking one step at a time.
Session Three: On Guard
Nobody wants to be bad at dating. In fact, most of us would say we want to be good at it. You want to be successful when it comes to hanging out with people you’re romantically interested in. You want to be impressive to the people you have a crush on. Basically, you want to win. But it isn’t exactly easy, is it? Dating can be confusing, intimidating, and even painful at times. Nobody is sure they’re handling it the right way. The book of Proverbs offers advice to help you live well in every area—and that includes your relationships. And while it can’t tell you whether you’ll run into your crush this weekend, it can help you figure out how to go for the win in your dating life now and in the future.
Session Four: Give Me More
Would you like to upgrade your phone? Of course you would! What about your wardrobe? How about a better car or a bigger house? Chances are you said yes to all the above. We all love to get more and better stuff. And, after the first upgrade, we usually want another. One dose of “more” always leads us to want another. It’s normal. But sometimes our normal way of doing things has unintended side effects. In this case, our quest for more can keep us dissatisfied and make us miserable. Maybe that’s why King Solomon, who had more riches and more upgrades than we can imagine, gives us such clear advice when it comes to this area of our lives. Through his words we discover that giving, not getting, is how we go for the win when in our endless desire for more.
Session Five: Hold Your Horses
Some people just get on your nerves more than others, don’t they? Whether they’re constantly late, always talking, totally irresponsible or just plain annoying, we all have someone in our lives who drives us crazy. And most often—that person is in our family. So what do you do when the person who frustrates you the most lives in your own house? How do you cope when everything they do makes you lose your patience with them? Patience is something King Solomon talked about often in the book of Proverbs. And thankfully he doesn’t say, “just try harder” when it comes to those who get on your nerves. Instead, he gives us a clue into one surprising thing that can grow our patience in any situation. And if we’re willing to give it a try, we may just find it easier to go for the win with our families.