Week 14- Protected by Integrity

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

   1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; 2 in you I trust, O my God.  Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.

   4 Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6 Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord. 8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. 10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. 11 For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

   12 Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord?  He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. 13 He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. 14 The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

   15 My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. 18 Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. 19 See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! 20 Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

   21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.       22 Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!

Psalm 25

What does this passage have to say about integrity?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) This Psalm is King David’s plea to God; he asks God to help him triumph over his enemies (v. 2).  Who were David’s enemies?  Who or what are your enemies?  Often we think of physical people as our enemies, but Scripture identifies a much more dangerous enemy.  (“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” - Ephesians 6:12  “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion waiting for someone to devour.” - 1 Peter 5:8b)  In what ways does the devil attack you daily?

2) What does David ask God to guard (v. 20)?  Is the devil interested in simply making your life difficult and complicating your daily efforts, or is he seeking something more?  Do you take seriously the intent of Satan?  What does it mean to “take refuge” (v. 20)?  Have you taken refuge in a relationship with Christ?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) How can integrity and uprightness protect you?  Why does integrity and uprightness protect David (v. 21)?  What is the difference between hope in the Lord, and hope in uprightness and integrity?  (True integrity rests in having hope in the Lord; otherwise it is just a hope in yourself.)  What can hope in the Lord provide (v. 8), which you cannot find in yourself?

4) Because God is the source of true goodness and uprightness (v. 8), how should a person seeking integrity respond to His correction (v. 11)?  What does God promise to a person who responds humbly  (v. 9)?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

5) Are you a teachable athlete?  Are you eager to be corrected and taught?  Do you approach practice with anticipation?  When confronted with your own mistakes and areas in which you need to improve, are you thankful?

6) How can a commitment to pursuing integrity “protect” you, as an athlete?  Are you more likely to fail if you follow the advice of godly coaches and teammates, or if you do what you feel like doing?  Would a coach be more likely to accept your lateness to practice if you always works hard, or if you goof off at every opportunity?  Will your teammates be more likely to look out for your well-being if you consistently treat them kindly, or if you typically think about yourself before considering their needs?

7) Should you pursue integrity primarily because it will benefit you?  Is integrity motivated by getting a genuine integrity?  What properly motivates integrity (v. 1, 4, 15)?  What will you gain from false integrity (v. 3)?

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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