Social Relationships

Social Relationships I. Discretion is a necessary aspect of our faith. PSA 112:5; PRO 1:1-4; 2:10-20; 3:21-22. A. Discretion: The action of separating or distinguishing, or condition of being distinguished or disjunct; separation, disjunction, distinction. B. We are to distinguish between good and evil by proving all things. 1TH 5:21. 1. Prove: To make trial of, try, test. 2. This proving process is to determine what is good and therefore acceptable to God. EPH 5:8-10. 3. In holding fast that which is good, we must contrarily reject and despise that which is evil. ROM 12:9. 4. The standard for this process is God's word, period. PSA 119:128. II. Discretion is needed in our social relationships because we ARE influenced by the company we keep. PRO 13:20; PSA 106:34-35; GAL 4:17; 2PE 2:8; 1CO 15:33. A. Biblical discretion is needed in the selection of a church, friend, date or mate. B. We will be influenced for good or evil by others; it cannot be avoided. C. Because we are susceptible to influence, we are commanded to avoid bad company. DEU 7:2-4; PRO 9:6; 22:24-25; 23:20; 24:1. 1. We would have to go out of this world to avoid bad company altogether. 1CO 5:9-10. 2. Nevertheless, we should not choose the wicked for our more intimate relationships. 3. Unmarried believers should soberly consider these things. The yoking together of a believer with an unbeliever is a recipe for trouble. 1KI 11:4; AMO 3:3. 4. Parents should be cautious about their children's selection of friends since children are especially impressionable and affected by peer pressure. a. Discourage intimate friendships with children of poor character. Would you want your children to be “in tight” with children like those in 2KI 2:23-24? b. Encourage intimate friendships with children raised with good values and like precious faith where possible. D. Social relationships which lead a believer away from Biblical standards or which encourage the believer to modify the Bible's definition of Christianity should be avoided. This evil tendency is summed up by God's rebuke to Job in JOB 40:8. E. Companions who plant negative attitudes in the hearts of Christians toward their brethren should be avoided. PRO 16:28; 6:19 c/w GAL 2:11-12. F. There are people from whom we need to be delivered. 2TH 3:2; PSA 144:11. III. The intake of Bible doctrine is necessary to practice discretion in social relationships. PRO 2:10-20; HEB 5:12-14. A. When God's word enters our hearts and is pleasing to our souls, it will influence us so as to avoid evil social relationships. PSA 1:1-2. B. God's word will not positively influence us if we harden our hearts against it. HEB 4:2. IV. Proverbs 5-7 provide an excellent instruction manual for avoiding evil associations with the opposite sex. A. These chapters are written in the form of parental instruction. B. The father warns his son against involvement with a strange or whorish woman. C. False religion is described as whoredom. EXO 34:10-17; ISA 57:3-8; REV 17:1-5. Social Relationships 7-4-10 Page 1 of 3 1. Religion and sex are two dynamic passions of mankind. 2. As sexual union is only right within marriage to one's spouse, so also is religion only right by devotion to the true God. HEB 13:4; ROM 7:4; 2CO 11:2-4. 3. Therefore, these chapters may also be applied to identifying false religion. 4. Compare this strange woman with the heretics of ROM 16:17-18. a. Both seduce the simple. PRO 7:6-7. b. Both use fair speeches to seduce. PRO 7:21. c. Both are to be avoided. D. The believer must beware of entanglements with strangers---those who do not share his faith. PRO 2:16-17; 2CO 6:14-18. E. Special attention to THE WORDS of God will keep the young man from being seduced by the strange woman. PRO 7:1-5, 24. F. The man is specifically warned against an unprincipled woman. 1. While these chapters emphasize a loose woman, the man is held accountable if he yields. PRO 5:20-23. 2. These chapters warn a man against being loose himself. G. Consider the end of sexual promiscuity. PRO 5:4-13; 7:22-23. H. Beware of being flattered or “sweet-talked” by a loose woman or a false teacher. PRO 5:3; 6:24; 7:5, 21. 1. Flatter: To try to please or win the favour of (a person) by obsequious speech or conduct; to court, fawn upon. To praise or compliment unduly or insincerely. To gratify the vanity or self-esteem of; to make self-complacent; to make (one) feel honoured or distinguished. 2. Obsequious: Compliant with the will or wishes of another, esp. of a superior; prompt to serve, please, or follow directions; obedient; dutiful. 3. Flattery is a means of trapping another. PRO 29:5. 4. True ministers do not use flattery. 1TH 2:5. 5. (PRO 26:28) A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. 6. (PRO 20:19) He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. I. The strange woman tries to make her victim feel like he is personally special and important to her (PRO 7:15). Compare this with Absalom's method of winning followers. 2SAM 15:1-6. J. Completely avoid situations which are conducive to temptation. PRO 5:8; 7:8. K. Do not indulge lustful thoughts. PRO 6:25. L. Cheap women especially try to seduce men of reputation. PRO 6:26. M. Beware of women who dress in sexually suggestive attire. PRO 7:10. N. The strange woman appeals to the physical senses. PRO 7:16-17. 1. False religion often does the same. 2. Since Satan is characterized by musical instruments, merchandizing, beauty and corrupted wisdom, these elements appear in his religion. EZE 28:12-18; REV 17:4; 18:21-22. 3. As a woman's true adornment is not outward beauty but character ( PRO 11:22; 31:30), so also is the adornment of God's religion. 1TI 2:9-10; TIT 2:10. O. Guard against the woman who forces herself on a man. PRO 7:13, 15. P. That a woman maintains a profession of religion does not guarantee that she is chaste. PRO 7:14. Social Relationships 7-4-10 Page 2 of 3 Q. Don't let your heart be “suckered in” by these seductive ways. PRO 7:25. R. The strongest men will yield to this temptation if they do not stedfastly avoid it. Remember Samson. PRO 7:26; 1CO 10:12. S. Having warned his son against the abuse of sex, the father also imparts to his son a healthy view of sex within marriage. PRO 5:15-19. T. With slight adjustment, these warnings to a young man would conversely apply to a young woman. V. Consider some marks for identifying good character. A. Reputation. A good person commonly has a good name. PRO 22:1; ECC 7:1. B. Countenance. Looks reveal much about character. ISA 3:9, 16; PRO 6:17. C. Speech. The mouth exposes the heart. MAT 12:34; PRO 31:26. D. Apparel. Attire reflects character. 1TI 2:9-10; PRO 7:10; ISA 3:16-18. E. Company. One is known by the company he keeps. PRO 13:20. F. Money. How one handles money says much about his character. LUK 16:10-12. VI. Our brethren of like precious faith (2PE 1:1) ought to be our choicest companions. A. We share something together which cannot be shared with those in the family or community who are not of the same mind spiritually. B. Are we inclined toward or away from our brethren? C. Do we view each other as treasured brothers and sisters in Christ or as strangers? D. We need to choose our companions wisely. PSA 119:63; MAL 3:16-18.

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