Sermon Illustrations

Integrity in Sports

Joseph’s family was certainly blessed because of his Integrity. And yours will be as well! In the end, the greatest success story of Joseph is certainly not his secular achievements as second in command in Egypt. His greatest achievement is his single-mindedness to follow, to trust, and to obey God, no matter what the consequences and no matter what the situation. Can you say the same?

Cleveland Stroud had coached the Blue Collar Bulldogs for 18 years before his basketball team made it to the state championship. Stroud recalls that “it was the perfect night” when they won. “A night you dream of.” He was carried around the gym on the shoulders of his triumphant players and their proud parents. The local paper put his picture on the front page.

But the excitement was short-lived. Two months after the championship, during a routine grade check, Stroud discovered that one player was academically ineligible. The player had only played 45 seconds during the regional qualifying tournament. Stroud says, “I thought it was all ruined. I went through a phase where I was really depressed.” He struggled with what to do next. Yet, his commitment to integrity led him to the right decision.

“Winning is the most important thing for any coach,” he says. “But your principles have to be higher than your goals.” He reported the error to the league and the Bulldogs forfeited their trophy. When the team lamented their loss in the locker room, he told them, “You’ve got to do what is honest, what is right, and what the rules say. People forget the scores of basketball games, but they don’t ever forget what you are made of.”

Moms and dads, if you want your children to do right tomorrow – then you and I need to do right today, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day! In order for them to know how to do the next right thing – we must show them what the right thing is each step of the way.

From a sermon by Joseph McGaha, Joseph - A Man of Character & Integrity, 12/8/2009

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