Free Bible Study on James: Integrity

This free 4-part Bible study on James will help your students learn how to live a life of integrity.

Your well-being will rise and fall on your integrity. It’ll be the source of your success and the spark of your setbacks. So, what is integrity? And how do we develop into people of integrity? My sixth-grade teacher had a sign behind his desk that said, “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.” That hits the nail on the head. Your true self isn’t your performance. Actually, it’s much more personal. Integrity is tested in private. It’s what you do when you’re alone in your room, inside the privacy of your phone, or hidden within your head.

James, the brother of Jesus, became the lead pastor at the world’s first mega-church located in central Jerusalem. As thousands of members listened to James preach, he used his platform to teach about faith in action. Similar to Solomon, James shares short, practical proverbs to help Christians develop a faith that works. His short sayings give us the keys to living a life of integrity.

Part 1: What do you do in secret?

In chapter one, James says, “consider it pure joy” when you face trials. According to Jesus’ brother, we should be thrilled when we face temptation. Not because the temptation is fun, but because it will strengthen our faith. Every time you face temptation, you are given an opportunity to grow stronger. Your response to temptation reveals your true colors. The more you fight temptation, the greater your integrity grows.

Scripture: James 1:2-4

Part 2: Taming your Tongue

Has a heated conversation ever made you wish you had a time machine? Sometimes, the moment words spill out of our mouths, we wish we could take them back. Our words have the power to wound the people we love most. Conversations have the power to change the direction of a relationship. How many times have you said something you regret? A dozen? A thousand? It’s time to tame our tongues.

Scripture: James 3:3-6; James 1:19

Part 3: The Integrity Test

Before sinning, most people think “Is anyone going to know I did this?” James proposes that instead, we ask, “Is this the right thing to do?” If your primary concern is being caught, then you have already failed the integrity test. When you live with integrity, then your character remains constant. It is the same on Friday night as it is on Sunday morning. It is the same in your group chat as it is in youth group. James calls us to live a life of character, not to play a character. 

Scripture: James 4:17

Part 4: The Path to Healing

Sin and guilt work together in secret. They weigh you down, burn you out, and keep you up at night. That is why James offers a life-giving action toward emotional healing — confession. I hear you. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s healthy. Confessing your sins to someone, even a trusted friend, is uncomfortable and awkward. It requires vulnerability, trust, and humility. However, as we push past the discomfort, healing is on the other side.

Scripture: James 5:16


–4-part small group guide (intended for stand-alone small groups)
–Graphics to reinforce this content on social media
–Bonus eBook devotional on James

This small group Bible Study on James is based on a free sermon series!

Click here to view the James Sermon Series.

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