Week 11- True Integrity: Not Because of Your Righteousness

 MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

   1 Hear, O Israel. You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and          dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. 2 The people are strong and tall — Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: "Who can stand up against the Anakites?"   3 But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

   4 After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, "The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness." No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.

Deuteronomy 9:1-6

What does this passage have to say about integrity?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) According to verses 1 and 2, why might the Israelites be afraid to go in and take possession of the land?  Why should they not be afraid (v. 3)?

2) Why might it be easier for the Israelites to be more driven by fear than by trust in God’s power?  Do you ever find yourself intimated by a visible and tangible threat, so much that you don’t do what God desires?  What does God promise the Israelites, if they will trust in and act upon his commands (v. 3)?  Is the God of Israel still the same “one who goes...ahead of you  like a devouring fire” today?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) What does God say will be a temptation for Israel, after the Anakites have been driven out of the land (v. 4-6)?  Why do you think God feels the need to clarify this?  What does the fact that God has to repeat his point three times (in verses 4, 5, and 6) tell you?  What does God call the people of Israel (v. 6)?

4) Are you a stiff-necked athlete?  In what ways are you tempted to think highly of yourself?  Isn’t it OK to feel good about yourself when you accomplish something great, or when you do what your coach asks you to do?  Is your purpose to receive honor, or to give honor?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

5) Though a sporting activity is much different from a battle to claim land that God has granted you, there are some lessons here.  When victorious, do you boast of your own greatness, even in subtle ways (accepting or craving praise, retelling the story of your accomplishment, or failing to thank God and your teammates)?  How can your team pursue God’s desire in times of victory (or, for that matter, also in times of defeat) — that God’s faithfulness and greatness might be declared?

6) What is the ultimate goal of an athlete of integrity?  (Remember that you can understand integrity as “living a life worthy of the calling.”)  So, an athlete of integrity has what as his purpose?  To what is he called?  Though the goal of a right relationship with God certainly extends beyond your sport, can you enjoy that relationship in the context of sport?  How does an athlete who is eager to love and honor God participate in athletics?

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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