Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: Better Wise Up!
Sermon 4: Red Flag Reactions

  1. This week is the final week of our Proverbs readings! Share one thing that has been helpful to you personally from your Proverbs reading this past week?
  2. Read Proverbs 22:3 or 27:12: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

Pastor Trevor explains that to be prudent is to be wise and to be simple is to be naïve. The proverb contrasts the two to show how they are different and to make a point.

The main difference between a prudent (wise) person and a simple (naïve) person is how they connect today and tomorrow. The prudent (wise) person sees how today’s choices influence tomorrow’s experiences, and the simple (naïve) person does not.

  1. Why is it challenging to make the connection between today’s choices and tomorrow’s experience?
  2. How can we improve in connecting today’s actions with tomorrow’s experiences?

Evander Holyfield is a world champion boxer, he tells a story of his first trainer who saw a potential of greatness in him. Evander’s trainer asked him, “Do you want to be great?” Evander said yes, and his trainer responded, “Is that a dream or a goal?”

  1. Take a minute to think about an area of your life that you want to improve in (health, finances, school, career, personal devotion to God etc.) How would it change your perspective if you thought of it as a goal instead of a dream? Do you think you would have more success?

Pastor Trevor clarifies that, “Red flags are threats to our preferred future” Learning to recognize red flags and react wisely can keep us from making decisions we will one day regret.

  1. Three reasons we avoid red Flags:
    1. We think good intentions are enough – No one says that they one day want to be in financial crisis, divorced or in jail. Everyone starts off with good intentions, but it takes more, it takes discipline and intentionality.
    2. We don’t “play the tape through” – We don’t stop and ask ourselves, how is this going to affect me in five years?
    3. We are in denial – We all have the capacity to lie to ourselves. Pastor Trevor points out that one commonality between moral failures is not thinking it could happen to them. Trevor encourages us to tell ourselves, “It will happen to me unless I do something about it.”


  1. Which one of these three reasons for avoiding red flags do you resonate with the most? What can you do to overcome this and recognize red flags and react wisely?
  2. Pastor Trevor tells the story of his brother who quit his job as a restaurant manager in order to get his priorities right and put God his work and his family as second. Have you ever been in a similar situation, if so, how did you respond and how did your choices influence your future?

When it comes to what you do with red flags and how you respond, everything is on the line. We must have courage and take action. It is not enough to see red flags you must do something about it!

Andy Stanly in The Principle Path says, “If there is going to be change, you must take refuge. You’ve got to do something. Seeing it, feeling it, agreeing with it is not enough. You are going to need to make a phone call. Have an awkward but honest conversation with a friend. Cut up some credit cards. Change your phone number. Break up. Move out. Find a new circle of friends. Cut back on your traveling. Set the alarm clock on Sunday morning. Empty the liquor cabinet. Join a twelve-step group. Take your family on vacation. Make an appointment with a counselor. Sell the house. Cancel your Internet service. Change jobs. Sell the TV. Maybe all of the above.”

  1. What are some red flags in your life and how does God want you to respond to them?
  2. How can your small group support you in prayer as you take action and address the red flags in your life and the things God is calling you to change?

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