WEEK 1- The Motivation for Humility

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

     1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.  3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,  7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Philippians 2:1-7

What does this passage have to say about humility?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) What should motivate you to be humble (v. 1)?  Are you encouraged by your relationship with Christ?  Does God’s love comfort you?  Do you enjoy quality time with God?  Are you a person who cares deeply about other people?  God provides the “blueprint” for humility, which is driven by these genuine motivations; you cannot force yourself into the posture of humility.

2) When you attempt to “manufacture” humility, what is your motivation?  How is this in contrast with the motivations described in verse 1?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) Is it possible for us, as sinful human beings, to “do nothing out of selfish ambition” (v. 3)?  What are some good things that you do, which might be motivated by partially prideful thoughts?  (For example, do you fill the water bottles so that the coach and others will see how dedicated you are to the team?)  Should you stop doing these things because your motivation is not completely pure?  Should you keep doing these things if you are tempted by pride in the midst of them?  Hmmm...difficult question.  What should you do when you find yourself in this dilemma?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

4) Verse 6 states that  Jesus “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped” (v. 6).  He was not “grasping” at the status and privilege due to Him, but instead was doing what (v. 7)?  In what specific ways can you “take the very nature of a servant” toward your teammates?

5) Consider the implications of humility for a team.  What motivation should drive each athlete on your team (v. 4)?  Evaluate your own commitment to this goal.  How can your team please God (v. 2)?  How does a team that is “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and in purpose” function?

FRIDAY — Discuss sport applications of humility, and pray together.

· Ask your athletes to briefly reflect on what they’ve learned about humility this week, and to repeat some of those things.  (Remind them of some of the Biblical truths about humility you’ve discussed, if necessary.)

· Ask your team, “Based on what we learned about humility this week...What does a humble athlete do?”  Do not settle for vague answers; challenge your athletes to go beyond general qualities of a humble athlete, and to determine what those qualities look like in action.

· Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “humble athlete”, and be sure the list is displayed somewhere that is constantly visible, as a reminder to the team.

· Pray together as a team.  Encourage your athletes to pray for your team’s growth in regard to the discipline of humility — especially in relation to some of the issues and challenges that you discussed together this week.  Challenge them to also ask for forgiveness, when applicable.  Give time for athletes to request prayer (regarding humility or anything else), and pray together.

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