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Teach Yourself About Spiritual Relationships: Scriptural Guide

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Spiritual Relationships (Section 3)

Author: Apostle Kelvin Franklin

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13. Friendships

     The Lord has a lot to say about friendships and relationships. Most of these scriptures speak for themselves. They are grouped into categories for easier study and guidance. Lets take a look at His advice given in PROVERBS.

     [NOTE: ALL SCRIPTURES IN THIS SECTION ARE FROM PROVERBS.

A. A Basis of Friendship

     18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
     17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

     In order to have friends we must show ourselves friendly. If we wait on others to act, we may never develop friends. We must become the catalyst.

B. Money Matters

     3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
     3:28 Say not unto thy neighbor, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give: when thou hast it by thee.
     22:26 Be thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.

     Not following these simple rules will destroy a friendship. We should do better business with our friends than we do with the world. If we owe our friends something, we should not defer to pay it, especially when it is within our power to do so. In all situations that you can think of, PAY WHAT YOU OWE TO YOUR FRIENDS.

C. Destructive Words

     11:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just shall be delivered.
     11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
     16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
     17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
     26:22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
     27:14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him (flattery).
     25:18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

     We will look into this area even more when we look at the destructive effects of a tongue on a friendship. We need to weigh every word before we say it. If we begin to apply these principles, they will help us establish strong vital friendships.

D. Results of Bad Friendships

     16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
     19:4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour

     If we choose the wrong people for friends, they will lead us off the straight and narrow way that leads to heaven. We will find ourselves on the wide road that leads to destruction: ST MATTHEW 7:13-14.

E. Good Friendships Mold Character

     13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed
     27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (This indicates that friction is acceptable if its done in truth and honesty with one another)
     18:17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
     27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
     28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

     The friends that we choose are critical. If we walk with wise men, we will become wise. If we walk with fools, then they will leads us to our destruction. 

     When iron is being sharpened, it creates sparks. However, after it is finished, the iron is sharp and ready to be used as a weapon. A friend can only tell the truth, even if it is a rebuke. The truth will create tensions and sparks in a relationship. But remember, "The truth will set us free" (ST JOHN 8:32.) The truth sometimes wounds, but a true friend will appreciate it afterwards. A good friend will search our cause and tell us the truth even if it hurts. We must always strive for truth and honesty in a relationship. A great relationship will build character. Our character will become sharp like the sharpened iron. Then we will be ready to be an instrument of God's perfect will.

F. Preserve Your Friendship

     6:1 My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, 
     6:2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
     6:3 Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

     It is your responsibility to preserve your friendship. No one else will do this for us. We must go discuss issues when there is a problem. 

G. How to Maintain Peace in Your Relationships

3:29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
3:30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
11:12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.
24:28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.
25:9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself: and discover not a secret to another:
25:10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
25:17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
21:14 A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
27:10 Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into they brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother that is far off.

     These are great tidbits of truth that will preserve our relationships if we would but follow them. PLEASE EXAMINE EACH ONE INDIVIDUALLY AND CLOSELY.

H. The Dangers of Breeches in a Relationship

     18:18 The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.
     18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

     Once a relationship has been broken, it is extremely difficult to re-establish it. It will take time. This scripture should serve to warn us that if we allow our friendship to be broken by us offending our brother, this is the penalty that we pay.

I. How to Choose Friends

20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:
22:25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
25:19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

J. How to Stay out of Trouble 

     26:17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

     If we get involved in situation that do not directly affect us, we are creating unnecessary headaches for ourselves. Think of a dog. When we grab it by the ears, it will try to bite us. That is what this situation will try to do to us.

14. Steps to a Happy Relationship

     COMMUNICATION IS ONE OF THE BIG KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE. IT IS ALSO THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL FRIENDSHIP.

     As we discovered in Ephesians, marriage and Christianity are the same things. The marriage is a natural relationship while being a Christian is a spiritual relationship.

     In our Christian relationship, we must spend time communing with the Father in order for it to grow. We must meditate on his word and pray continually.

     In Marriage, we must learn to communicate more effectively. A lack of understanding has broken up many marriages. We must communicate continually with one another.

HEBREWS 13:
     4. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

A. The Importance of Controlling the Tongue 

     Great emphasis is placed by God on the tongue. James 3:1-18 gives what I feel is God's greatest dissertation on the tongue. 

JAMES 3:
     6. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

     The tongue is a dangerous item: a lethal weapon. It contains the power of death and life. God spoke and it happened. Since we are created in his image, we have this creative power. 

COLOSSIANS 3:
     17. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

(1) Our Tongue Control Death and Life

     18:21 DEATH AND LIFE ARE IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE: AND THEY THAT LOVE IT SHALL EAT THE FRUIT THEREOF (13:13 Mt 12:37)
     21:23 WHOSO KEEPETH HIS MOUTH AND HIS TONGUE KEEPETH HIS SOUL FROM TROUBLES.

     If we speak negative words, negative things will happen. If we speak positive words, positive things will happen. If we speak in faith, God will perform what we ask: ST MATTHEW 21:21-22.

     By keeping and controlling our mouth, we keep our soul. Whatsoever we sow, we will reap: GALATIANS 6:7-9. If we sow words of anger, malice, strife, and division among other, we shall also reap these things.

(2) Our Words Control Our Destiny 

PROVERBS
     6:2 Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
     12:13 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.

     The Lord teaches us that so a man thinketh in his heart so is he: PROVERBS 23:7. He then shows us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh: ST MATTHEW 12:34-37. He continues by saying that a good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things. Every idle word that we speak, we shall give an account of on the day of the judgement. By our words we shall be justified, and by our words we are condemned. Our words control our situation. If we say that we cannot do something, then we never will. As we think in our heart and speak it forth, so will it be. 

(3) The Lord Hates a Forward Tongue

     6:16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
     6:17 ..........., a lying tongue, ...........
     6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and soweth discord among the brethren.
     10:18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
     12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.

     The Lord says that he hates a lying tongue, a false witness that speaketh lies, and soweth discord among the brethren.

     I believe that part of the reason that the Lord hates these things is that he wants to protect us. Whatsoever we sow, that will we reap. If we sow words of anger, and other evil deeds, this is what we will reap. Now let us think about an ear of corn. We plant one seed. It dies and produces a stalk of corn. That stalk of corn can produce four to five ears of corn. If each ear produces a 1000 new seeds, we now have 5000 seeds. In this example we can see how our fruit is multiplied. Now consider all these seeds as evil deeds. This thought encouraged me to change my thought life and the words that I was saying.

     REMEMBER, The Lord hates these things.

(4) Blessing Come Through the Right Words

     10:11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
     10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.
     10:31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
     10:20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.
     12:14 A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompense of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
     12:17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
     12:19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
     13:2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
     15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
     18:4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook
     18:20 A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

     As you can see, the words that we say have an effect on our lives. If our words are good, the effect on our lives will be good. I encourage you to study and examine each verse individually so that you can apply each principle to your life. 

(5) The Effects of No Control of the Tongue

10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
11:11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12:6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
17:20 He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.
18:7 A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
18:6 A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.

     When we don't control our words, they destroy. Sin always destroys. When we spend a lot of time talking, we generally speak a lot of words that are sin. They are sin in that we speak words against someone or says something that is directly against the principles of God. The city (our lives and relationships) can be overthrown (destroyed) by the mouths of wicked people. Think of the condition that our cities and society in general are in. We are living in times when it seems that nobody has anything good to say. Because of the destructive effects of our words, it seems that almost everyone lives in fear.

(6) No Control Destroys Friendships

     12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
     16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
     11:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
     18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

     Some of the words that we say are as damaging as if we were to take a sword and wound our friend. That's how deadly our words are. See how they go down to the innermost part of the belly. When we share lies and rumors, we separate friends. It is important for us to weigh every word that we say. 

     Let's look at why this is true. See, anger is an evil spirit. Covetousness is an spirit. These spirit operate in the spirit realms but their actions are carried out in the natural (See less on "Spiritual Warfare in Today's Church" to further understand these principles.) When we speak these things in the natural, the spirits in the spirit world take this permission and work in the spiritual to inflict damage in the natural lives of those whom our thoughts and words are directed against. 

(7) The Effects of Good Words 

     12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
     15:23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

(8) The Blessings of Controlling the Tongue

     13:3 He that keepeth him mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

     If we learn to control our mouths, we will be able to save ourselves from bad experiences that are spawned when we say things that we shouldn't.

(9) How to Discern Good and Evil

     13:5 A righteous man hateth lying:.........
     15:2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
     15:7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
     17:27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

      When we see these traits in an individual or ourselves, then we will know that we are not far from where we should be in the Lord.

(10) How to Change Your Mouth

     10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.
     15:28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
     16:23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
     17:28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
     18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
     23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

     By adhering to the principles of God, we can change our words and our attitude. Ultimately, our walk with Jesus will be transformed into a closer one. We should learn to study (think about) all our answers. Our heart will teach us wisdom as we meditate on the word of God. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace. We must strive to always clearly hear and understand a matter before we draw a conclusion and speak out about it.

     Listen to these last scriptures on the tongue.

16:27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
19:1 Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
26:23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

15. Christian Relations

     The relationships in our church have come under a tremendous attack from Satan. If he can destroy relationships and create divisions, he can be successful in destroying a church.

HEBREWS 10:
     23. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 
     24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
     25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching

     We are encouraged in God's word to come together. Jesus sent the disciples out two by two. When one was weak, the other would still be strong and therefore they would be able to strengthen the other. My pastor from Spain, Rev. Elijah Holland Jr., started a ministry called "God's Power in Christian Fellowship/Living". As I was meditating on this lesson God revealed unto me the great truth contained in his title that he had received from the Lord. The power of God flows through true christian fellowship and living. Think about it, we cannot show that we love God unless we love our fellow man. God's commandments are centered on treating people right. The key fruit of the Holy Ghost is Love.

ST MATTHEW 22:
     36. Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?
     37. Jesus said unto him, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND.
     38. This is the first and great commandment.
     39. And the second is like unto it, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.
     40. ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS HANG ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.

     God says, that "if we love him, we must keep his commandments." All his commandments are centered around love. In order to sin, we must hurt somebody. If we lie, we lie on someone; if we steal, we must steal from someone; if we get angry, we are angry at someone; if we kill, we must kill someone; and the list goes on. If we are to truly experience God's power in our lives, we must follow his principles which are centered on loving him and those around us.

A. Our Duty to Reconcile Trespasses with One Another

ST MATTHEW 18:
     15. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
     16. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
     17. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

     We are required by God to follow these procedures. This will help to preserve harmony within the church body. If your brother offends you, it is your responsibility to go and talk to him. If he refuses to hear you, then take with you an unbiased person so that the words that you are going to say can be established. If you take a strong Christian whom the Lord will direct you to, this will not give satan room to create confusion.

     By following these steps, rumors will not be started because you inadvertently shared this information.

B. Responsibility to Teach Each Other

TITUS 2:
     1. But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
     2. That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
     3. The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
     4. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
     5. To be discreet, chaste, KEEPERS AT HOME, good, OBEDIENT TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
     6. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
     7. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
     8. Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

     From reading these scriptures, you will probably notice from your own experiences that a lot of this instruction is not taking place in the church.

     If our churches are to grow strong and become alive, then we must return to the standard that God has established and ordained in his word.

16. In Conclusion

     Until we commit ourselves whole heartedly to following the principles of God, our lives will continue to be in turmoil. 

     If you decide that you are going to let the Holy Ghost and the word of God control every aspect of your life, then, your life will be blessed.

     I've presented a few principles. Search the word of God and study so that you will understand his will concerning every part of your life, then walk in that understanding.

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