Remember the Titans – Attitude Like Jesus
Main Point of Discussion: Our attitudes greatly affect our behavior so make sure your attitude is like Jesus’.
The Movie Clip: “The worst attitude I ever heard”
In 1971, racial tensions were felt everywhere in America as school integration took place. When a black coach, Coach Boone (Denzel Washington), is named head coach of an integrated high school football team, the bitterness of a Virginia small town grows even greater.
Remember the Titans is not just a story about high school football. It’s a story based on real-life events that shows how people must overcome their differences and cooperate with each another to achieve success and a better world. In the end, we also see that love can prevail over evil…if we let it.
Introducing the Clip:
Remember the Titans is one of those movies that could stir you to become a better person if you let it. The movie follows a newly appointed African-American head coach of a high school football team torn up with racism. The players and the coaches themselves, have to learn how to get along with each other and play as an interracial team in its first season together. In the scene I am about to show you, all the players have been ordered to learn something about each other as individuals–and until they do, they'll continue practicing three times a day inthe summer heat. Let’s listen in on the conversation between Gerry (pronounced Gary) and Julius, a.k.a. “Big Ju,” to see what we can learn about them and their attitudes.
BEGIN CLIP AT 29 minutes and 11 seconds (in Chapter 9).
Gerry: All right, man listen. I’m Gerry, you’re Julius. Let’s get some particulars and just get this over with, all right?
Julius: No matter what I tell you, you ain’t never gonna know nothin' about me.
Gerry: Listen, I ain’t runnin’ any more of these three-a-days, ok?
Julius: Well, what I got to say, you really don’t want to hear ‘cause honesty ain’t too high up on your peoples’ priority list, right?
Gerry: Honesty? You want honesty? All right, honestly, I think you’re nothin'. Nothin' but a pure waste of God-given talent. You don’t listen to nobody, man. Not even Doc or Boone! Shiver push on the line every time, man. You blow right past ’em! Push ’em! Pull ’em! Do something! You can’t run over everybody in this league, and every time you do, you leave one of your teammates hanging out to dry – me in particular!
Julius: Why should I give a hoot about you, huh? Or anybody else out there? You want to talk about a waste? You the captain, right?
Julius: Captain’s supposed to be the leader, right?
Julius: You got a job?
Gerry: I have a job.
Julius: You been doin’ your job?
Gerry: I’ve been doin’ my job.
Julius: Then why don’t you tell your white buddies to block for Rev better? ‘Cause they have not blocked for him worth a plugged nickel, and you know it! Nobody plays! Yourself included! I’m supposed to wear myself out for the team? What team?! No, No. What I’m gonna do is, I’m gonna look out for myself, and I’m gonna get mine.
Gerry: See, man? That’s the worst attitude I ever heard.
Julius: Attitude reflects leadership, Captain.
END CLIP AT 30 minutes and 49 seconds.
In this clip, we just saw two guys with really poor attitudes. Both of them are team leaders, and both of them allowed their bad attitudes to negatively affect them – and others – on the field and off the field. Attitudes always affect behavior, either for good or for bad. That’s true for you and me; therefore, we must make sure our attitude is like Jesus’.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we begin, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite sports.
- ASK A FEW: What's wrong with these two guys’ attitudes from the clip?
- ASK SOMEONE: In what ways are their bad attitudes affecting others?
- ASK A FEW: Since they are leaders and play on the same team, what should their attitudes have reflected?
- ASK A FEW: Do you believe Christians display bad attitudes from time to time?
- ASK A FEW: When Christians show bad attitudes, what are some of the outcomes?
- ASK A FEW: What should a Christian’s attitude reflect?
Read the following passage:
Philippians 2:5-11 (NLT)
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. 8 When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Tonight we saw the damaging effects that poor attitudes can have on us and those around us. In the clip, we saw two football players with selfish attitudes, and their attitudes revealed themselves in negative ways, on and off the field.
Bad attitudes are not restricted to the movies, though. Sometimes you and I can develop bad attitudes. When we do, our actions tend to mirror our bad attitudes. And when our attitudes and actions as Christians become poor, not only do we pay a price, but so do others!
As Christians, we have tons of reasons to have great attitudes. First, we know that Jesus has died for us to forgive our sins. Second, we know the future God has planned for us in Heaven. Third, we are told to model an attitude like the attitude Jesus had. It’s that simple.
As Christians, our role in the world is very important. Others desperately need us to live our lives like Jesus lived His so they'll see Jesus in us and be more likely to place their faith in Him. For us to live like Jesus, we must have an attitude like Jesus had. In this short passage we see that Jesus was “humble” and “obedient” and was willing to give Himself as a sacrifice for others. If our attitude is like Jesus’, our actions will be like Jesus’, and the world will notice it.
Let’s make sure we have that kind of attitude!
Close in Prayer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.