Main Point: Don’t cross the fine line between integrity and material satisfaction.
Discussion Starter: Idolatry in Exile
How many students watched Survivor 12 this season? The reality television show was based in Panama on what has been known as Exile Island. The rules changed a bit this season. Exile Island is a place where a contestant would spend the night apart from the rest of the group. This proved to be a dreaded experience according to Exile Island residents. While on Exile Island the goal for each contestant is to find the hidden immunity idol. With the immunity idol comes leverage which will enable the contestant to advance in the game. Even though this one rule changed, there was still the million dollar prize like every other season for the contestants to try to earn.
Austin Carty is a young man who came up with a brilliant plan, according to him. He won the very first immunity challenge and received an amulet. As he was on Exile Island with Danielle, he took the amulet that he won previously and wrapped it around a bamboo type rock. He put it in his bag and kept guarding the bag as to say he had the idol. As he began to execute the plan, he realized that what he was doing was wrong. He didn’t bend the truth or stretch it out a little, he lied about it. That began to eat at him and he wasn’t able to successfully execute the mission. Have you ever been in a situation like this? You had a good plan, a good scheme but at the same time, you knew that going through with it would put your character in jeopardy? Today, we will examine the fine line between integrity and material satisfaction.
The Video Clip: Idolatry in Exile
Note: Once you click on the above link to the video, click “Watch Now.” A Video Player will pop up, then click on “Survivors” in the red box. Next click on “Austin” and then down to “Idolatry in Exile.”
If you are not technologically savvy, here is what you could say:(You’ve already explained the situation with the “Discussion Starter” above.) Here’s Austin’s own words as I read them from the show’s transcript:
- “Coming over here, my original intention with the Idol was to make a forgery to look like I had found the Idol. I happened to have the amulet that I won the very first reward challenge in my bag, and all I did was take this scepter-ish looking bamboo rock and wrap the amulet I had around it to make it look like a hidden immunity idol.
I wanted Danielle to see, so that way she would believe I had the hidden immunity idol. I think that my scheme is brilliant, but it's eating me up inside, and I believe I've reached the point where I found out what I'm not willing to do for a million dollars, so I'm not going through with it.”
I would dare to say that none of us have ever been posed the question, “What would you do for a million dollars?” Although the question may have been asked, 9 times out of ten, the financial funds were unavailable. Unfortunately, there are many crazy and disappointing things people would do for a million dollars hoping that they would find fulfillment in life.
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.
- What would you do for a million dollars?
- Do you think that a million dollars would make you happy?
- Should character play a role in obtaining a million dollars?
- How long will a million dollars satisfy you?
- What reasons would you give for not wanting to obtain a million?
- What is the result of humbleness? (v.2)
- What does the word integrity in verse 3 mean to you?
- Why is integrity worth more than financial gain?
- What promise do those that choose integrity and virtue have according to verse 4?
- Who is someone in your life that you can honestly look at and see an example of integrity?
- Optional Question: Make a list of the most important things in your life. (Most of these items won’t have a price tag attached to them. i.e. Family, relationships, God, etc.)
Read the Following Passage:
- Proverbs 11:2-5
2When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
5 The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them,
but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
Tonight, we took a look at a question that could change our lives, temporarily. What could we do with a million dollars? According to a recent survey (James Patterson and Peter Kim, The Day America Told the Truth, 1991.), 25 % of the population that was polled said that they would abandon their entire family for 10 million dollars. An additional 23 % said that they would become prostitutes for a week or more. Three percent of the polled population said that they would give their children up for adoption for the financial gain. We saw through Solomon’s writings that the man that keeps his integrity in tact is the man who remains victorious in the sight of God. Financial gain is material, it can be spent in an instant but there is something else that is so much better… a relationship with Jesus Christ. He can give you life like you never knew it. Not only can He change it, but your past can be forgiven and your future will be forever.
Written by Jamie Vaughan
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.