Pride is a word which gives many of us in the sports world a mixed message. We hear our coaches tell us to have pride, to take pride in our work and to be proud of our team. We also hear the Bible’s warnings about the danger of pride. This often leads to confusion for Christian athletes, coaches and teams. How do we wisely approach this issue?
- Tell the group about a time when you’ve been really proud of your team.
- What kinds of sports situations produce the best kind of pride in you?
- When do you find that your sports life is producing the worst kind of pride in you?
- Read 2 Corinthians 7:4: “I have great confidence in you; I have great pride in you. I am filled with encouragement; I am overcome with joy in all our afflictions.”
- What makes this sort of pride good and healthy for a player to have toward his or her teammates?
- Read 1 John 2:15b-16: “Because everything that belongs to the world— the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one's lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
- How is pride, as described in this scripture, different from what we read in the 2 Corinthians reading?
- How can we express the same sort of godly pride in our team as the writer of 2 Corinthians did for his friends?
- How can we guard our attitudes from the arrogance, conceit and selfishness which grow from the wrong kind of pride?
Let’s each find someone whom we trust to hold us accountable for our attitudes and to call us out when we act prideful.
Memory verse: “Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but before honor comes humility.” Proverbs 18:16