Week 10- The Cost of Our Sin

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

   1 Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. 3 For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things. 4 No one calls for justice; no one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil. 5 They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider's web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched. 6 Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands. 7 Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways.  8 The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace.

Isaiah 59:1-8

What does this passage have to say about integrity?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) What is the consequence of your iniquities (v. 2)?  What is the result of your sins (v. 2)?  Do these thoughts scare you?  Why or why not?

2) Verse 4 describes the problem at the heart of a sinful life — that “no one calls for justice; no one pleads his case with integrity” (v. 4).  What does this mean?  Does this remind you of how people fight things out in court today?  When people do this, are they seeking truth — or just trying to get what they want or avoid consequences?  Can a person who lives contrary to justice and integrity avoid consequences (v. 2)?  Can a person who  prioritizes his own pleasures find happiness (v. 8)?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) Re-read the passage, and make a list of the negative qualities, behaviors, and consequences that mark the life of a person who lives with no integrity.  (Coaches, here is a list to help you facilitate your team’s discussion:  guilt, lies, wicked things, empty arguments, trouble, evil, violence, rush into sin, shed innocent blood, evil thoughts, ruin and destruction.)  As an athlete, do any of these describe you?  Do they describe your team?

4) Verse 5 says that such a person will “hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web”?  If your team’s web is spun of these sinful qualities, what will be your impact upon others (v. 5, 7)?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

5) A person who has rejected integrity has embraced a life of sin.  Why can this person not have any peace (v. 8)?  Is this condition permanent?  Can a crooked road be made straight again?  What does Proverbs 3:5-6 say about this?  (“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding.  In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”)

6) How do you respond when someone has pointed out something you are doing wrong?  Do you make excuses for your behavior, or refuse to hear the person out?  When your coach tells you to do something differently, do you listen?  Or do you get annoyed, roll your eyes, or pretend you don’t need the instruction (“I know”)?  Do the members of your team encourage one another to respect correction and humbly accept honest criticism?  How could you respond in integrity? 

7) OK, so maybe you can be convinced to respond differently to your coaches and teammates...but what about your responses to your teachers?  Your parents?  Does the call to integrity also apply to how to respond to the authority and correction of officials and referees?

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

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

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

· Add the results to your team’s list of descriptions of the “athlete of integrity”, 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 integrity — 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 integrity or anything else), and pray together.


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Grove City CollegeBurrata WoodfiredMount Vernon Nazarene University