Week 10- Peace and Joy

MONDAY — Read the passage with your team.

  16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
   but the prudent overlook an insult.

 17 An honest witness tells the truth,
   but a false witness tells lies.

 18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
   but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

 19 Truthful lips endure forever,
   but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

 20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
   but those who promote peace have joy.

Proverbs 12:16-20

What does this passage have to say about joy?

Why is that important?

TUESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

1) This passage discusses some of the habits that promote and inhibit joy.  Before discussing the other verses, re-read verse 20.  What way of life brings joy to a person?  As you discuss the preceding verses, consider your own life; are you a person who promotes peace?

2) Read verse 16.  How do foolish people show their annoyance?  Can you think of any situation in which rashly showing your annoyance will produce a joyful    response?  How does one person’s expression of annoyance affect the others around him?  If you choose to overlook an offense against you, how might that affect those around you?  What situations (in practice or games) might tempt you to show annoyance?  Why is overlooking an offense such a difficult thing to do?

WEDNESDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

3) Read verse 17.  It’s easy to understand that the words of a liar are false, and that the words of an honest person are true — but what motivates a person to tell the truth?  All people are sinful and have a tendency toward selfishness; what, then, makes one person prone to lie...and the other given to honesty?

4) Read verse 18.  What two outcomes is the tongue capable of producing?  Can words really hurt like a sword?  Think of a time when you were hurt by words, and describe how you felt.  Has anyone on your team ever encouraged you with words?  Can you openly thank them for that right now?  What are the result of reckless words upon your team’s relationships and attitude?  What is the impact of a    teammate who chooses his words wisely upon your team?  Why is wisdom so difficult to learn and apply?

THURSDAY — Discuss the passage with your team.

5) Read verse 19.  Think again about the liar described in verse 17; though he seeks his own benefit with his lies, what ultimate benefit will be obtain by doing so      (v. 19)?  Now consider the honest person (v. 17) whose commitment to truth   demonstrates his wisdom (v. 18); how is the result of his speech different than that of the liar?  What kind of words will have the deepest impact on a person?  Are there any hurtful lies that cannot be undone with truth?  Do you know a person (family member, friend, classmate, teammate, or someone else) who has been hurt and who needs to be consoled with truth?  Commit to searching and sharing the words of Scripture to comfort him / her.

6) Read verse 20.  What is true of a person who has deceit in his heart?  What enables any person to seek peace instead of plotting evil?  Aren’t all people sinful and influenced by deceit in their hearts?  Are you promoting peace or plotting evil among your teammates right now?

7) All of these good habits (overlooking an offense, telling the truth, speaking wisely) help to “promote peace” (v. 20).  And what does a commitment to promoting peace produce?  Why are these habits so difficult to master?  Where does the   discipline to do these things come from?  If you can’t do these things by your own will power, then you cannot produce joy on your own?  What is the source of joy?  Is this joy a temporary thing, or an eternal thing  (v. 19)?  (Remember your      discussion about “living by the Spirit” from last week.  This truth about eternal joy and its Source is why you can hope to “live by the Spirit” and repeatedly fall to the same sins.)

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

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

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

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

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Grove City CollegeGrace Christian UniversityCentral Christian College of Kansas