Character Studies in Proverbs : Lesson #12 Character Check
In this lesson on character we are going to use the first eleven verses of Proverbs chapter 6 to see what condition our character is in. In this passage we will see that poor character traits are revealed two ways. The first one is through no discernment and bad choices in choosing friends and the second will be laziness. We will also see an example of the kind of character that we should have.
No discernment and bad choices of friends : (Verses 1-5)
In this passage we see a person who made himself surety for his friend but he was not really sure that his friend was truly his friend. This would be like a person who goes and co-signs a loan for his friend because his friend does not have good enough credit to get the loan by himself. If the person who gets the loan cannot pay the loan payments then the one who co-signed becomes responsible for the loan and its payments. This is why the proverb is telling you if you get into this situation then you had better make real sure that the person is really your friend and if not get out of the situation immediately.
What many people and especially teenagers do not realize is that you can judge a lot about a person by the people that they are friends with. Remember the old saying, “birds of a feather flock together”. This is why you do not see chickens roosting with eagles.
The word of God says in Proverbs 27:17 that iron sharpeneth iron so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. This is saying that you have to have some friends that have better character than yours or you will never build your character. If you friends all have less character than you do then chances are your character will suffer.
If you are saved you need friends that are spiritual and not worldly. They also should be doing something for God, and have the same beliefs that you do. If you are saved and all you ever hang around is lost people or worldly Christians that do nothing for God your character is going to suffer greatly.
Always remember that whether you are looking for a friend, husband, wife, or someone to look up to and give you advice. A good way to judge the character of the person you are considering is to look at the friends they have. Young lady if the person you are looking to marry has nothing but childish and immature friends then you can bet that he is childish and immature also. Young man if the girl you are looking to marry has friends that are worldly and immodest in actions and speech then you can bet the she is also or she could not tolerate it. If you are looking for someone to guide you or look up to look at the people they are friends with and see how they are being affected by the person you are considering.
Being lazy or a sluggard : (Verses 9-11)
Here the word of God is given warnings against being a sluggard or lazy. This should be noted by everyone one today because we are a generation that has become so lazy. We not only have kids that are lazy we have full grown adults who want work they just want everything handed to them. Therefore we see that when a person has poor character it can be shown through laziness. Let us look at a few verses to show what the word of God says about the sluggard.
Proverbs 10:26 “As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.”
- This verse is telling us that a person who is a sluggard and works for someone is the same as smoke in their eyes.
Proverbs 13:4 “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”
- This verse is telling us that a sluggard will desire to have things but because of his laziness he will never have them. Remember the only way to be good and prosperous at anything is to work hard at it.
Proverbs 26:16 “The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.”
- This verse is telling us that a sluggard always has an excuse for being lazy and even though there are 7 men who can show him he is wrong he is not going to listen to them.
Being lazy is poor character it doesn’t take long for it to show through. Strive to be anything but lazy.
An example of the character that we should have : (Verses 6-8)
The word of God tells us to go to the ant and consider her ways and be wise. This is an example of good character. There are two things that we see in these verses in regards to the ant that are excellent character traits.
1) Having no guide or overseer they do what they are supposed to do.
This is a great sign of character. If you are doing what you have been told or taught is right and doing it without being told to that is good character. All teenagers will tell you that they would like to have more freedom from the rules of parents, school, and adults in general. What they do not realize is the way to get freedom is by doing what you are told without having to be told all the time.
Most teens will think that freedom comes from rebelling against authority but the more you rebel the more trouble you get into. The more trouble you get into the less freedom you have. Ask any prisoner in prison today. They are told every move to make and when to make it why because they rebelled.
Listen to this quote by Dennis Corle, it states this principle perfectly.
“The less character you have the more governing you require. The more governing you require the less capable you are of handling leadership.”
2) They make the best use of their time
In the passage the ant provides her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest. This means that they are the opposite of lazy. Have you ever seen and ant just standing around doing nothing, they are always on the move doing something.
We must realize that youth is short and there are only so many days that we have to accomplish something for the Lord before our death or his return. Let us make every day count before we wake up one day and realize that our life is over and we haven’t done anything worth wile.
Character Studies in Proverbs : Lesson #13 Handout
Character Check (Proverbs 6:1-11)
1) According to this passage a lack of Character shows up in two way list both of them and the verses that accompany them.
2) In what way are verses 1-5 showing us how a lack of character can cause us to make a bad judgment in regards to friends?
3) List a chain reference for what Proverbs says about a “sluggard”.
4) What kind of character can we learn from an ant?