Week 4:  Living with Integrity

Discussion Guide

Researchers at Northwestern University ran a series of experiments placing students in tempting situations to smoke, eat junk food, or avoid studying.  They found we often display a “restraint bias,” which means we tend to overestimate how much self-control we have.  In other words, we’re biased to think we have more restraint than we do. When we’re not in the situation, we think we’ll handle it great; but in the heat of the moment, we’ll often give in.  This isn’t such a big deal if means we eat a little more pizza than we should or we go to bed a little later than we should.  But sometimes, we have a restraint bias when it comes to more serious things.  We not only lack will power; but, we also lack self-awareness.  We think we can easily handle a difficult situation.  We assume our good intentions will work when things get tough; and, we generally overestimate our ability to do the right thing.

We can’t live moral lives and please God through our will power.  If we try, we will fail again and again.  But we can please Him when we follow Jesus and allow Him to work in us.  Let’s learn more about what it means to live with integrity – not through our own strength; but, through His.

Let’s Get Started
  • When you think of someone with strong integrity who comes to mind? How do they influence you?
  • As a kid, what character values had a strong emphasis in your home? (Work ethic, honesty, responsibility, fairness, kindness, etc.)
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