Sermon Discussion 6-20-2021

The Way of Wisdom #3

June 20, 2021

Gathering Question       What is some wisdom your parents gave you?

Gathering Prayer

  • What stood out to you in the sermon? What insights did you gain? What questions did it raise?

Proverbs 10:9
    People with integrity walk safely,
      but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.

  • What comes to mind when you hear the word integrity?
  • Why can it be so hard to keep our words and actions in agreement?
  • How is there safety in integrity? How does integrity help set us free from fear?

A sign at Jimmy Johns said, “Honesty is not only morally right, it’s also highly efficient.”

  • Why do you think this is true?

One of the challenges for those who grow in influence, position and wealth is for them to maintain their integrity.

  • Why do you think it can be so easy for powerful and successful people to lose their integrity?
  • What are some things we can do to maintain our integrity over the long haul?

Living with integrity can be upsetting and even threatening to other people and to certain systems and structures.

  • Have you ever faced ridicule, criticism or hostility for living with integrity? How did that feel? How did you respond?
  • Why do you think people find the integrity of others to be irritating or upsetting?
  • How and where can we find strength to stand strong when people are hostile to our integrity?
  • How can the biblical image of “walking in the light” provide comfort and encouragement to us as we choose to live with integrity?

Living with integrity often isn’t easy, even for Christians. One of the most common criticisms of Christians by non-Christians is that we are hypocrites – that we don’t always live up to what we claim to believe.

  • How does it feel when we fall short of living up to what we claim we believe? How does it feel to know that others may see us as a hypocrite?
  • How do we resist the temptation to lower our standards and settle for less than the integrity God asks of us?
  • How can being honest with ourselves and God about our struggles with integrity help us live with greater faithfulness?
  • Why is it often so hard for us to apologize to others when our actions don’t match up to the love and integrity God calls us to?  What is the price when we fail to apologize? What is the benefit when we have the courage and vulnerability to apologize? How is apologizing an act of integrity?

In Romans 7, Paul describes himself, saying: “I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”

  • How does it feel to know that even the apostle Paul struggled mightily to live with faithfulness and integrity? How can that be a source of encouragement for us?

Paul goes on to say, “Who will free me? Thanks be to God…. The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living in you.”

  • How can the power of the Holy Spirit help us develop our moral muscles so we can live with integrity even when it’s difficult?
  • Why is the on-going transformation of our hearts and lives by the Holy Spirit essential for us to grow in integrity?
  • Why is transformation so difficult for us? Why is it hard to accept the accountability and correction of the Holy Spirit?
  • How does it feel when the Holy Spirit first opens our eyes to one of our shortcomings or failures? How does it feel when we allow the Spirit to transform our heart and align our life with God?

Closing Prayer

Confess those areas of your life where you struggle to live with integrity. Invite the Holy Spirit to transform your heart and life so that you will walk in the way of light and integrity.