NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies for Life curriculum.
Bible Passage: Esther 5:1-14
Discussion Questions: What’s been your typical game plan for navigating “high stakes” situations? In what ways did Esther’s actions demonstrate courage and humility? What makes pride so dangerous?
Food for Thought:
The Bible calls us to live with kindness and humility, even in dealing with conflict. Esther modeled just such Christ-like behavior in her plan to expose injustice. We learn from her careful, deliberate process that fighting injustice takes wisdom, patience and humility. Grace-filled approaches build bridges that can lead to change, but hasty moves almost always lead to worse outcomes.
Esther’s approach was a wise one. Jesus would later encourage His disciples to “be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Doing the right thing isn’t just about being right on the issues; it is about using our intellect and relational skills to achieve the maximum impact for good. It does not do our cause any good if we simply rage against evil without working to build relationships with people who can bring about change. This is true whether we are working for change in our families, our churches or our communities.
We can stand up for others with the same wisdom — and with the same humility as Esther. She did not insist on things being her way or attempt to throw her weight around because she was queen. A Christian’s life calls for humility, but it’s not always easy. It’s so much easier to let our anger and pride lead the way when someone cuts us off in traffic or the customer service rep is not correcting the problem like we think it should be corrected. When we have the habit of letting pride and anger lead in those self-focused injustices, we can easily take the same approach when standing up for others.
Humility is a beautiful thing, and it works wonderfully when our actions demonstrate it toward others. Humility doesn’t back down, but it takes a stand with a Christlikeness that makes a difference. As Solomon said, “A gentle answer turns away anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the Internet at www.biblestudiesforlife.com.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.