Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


Marks of Maturity
The Marks of Maturity Series was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Lesson Three

Proper Treatment of your Neighbor

INTRODUCTION: Many Christians have lost their testimony because of their improper treatment of others. Most people today are very concerned about "their rights" but have little concern for the rights of others. Maturity is demonstrated by forsaking selfish attitudes that are displayed in the two year old department. A good outline for a proper attitude toward our neighbor is found in Prov. 3:27-31. 

A. Withhold not good (3:27) - This concept is found in the New Testament also James 2:14; I John 3:17. The teaching is quite clear: when you have an opportunity to help someone, and it is your duty to help them, then you are to help them. The neighbor of verse 28 is always due help if we are to believe the Second Commandment and Romans 13:10-14. The Holy Spirit sheds a little more light on the matter in Gal. 6:10. Jesus expected his disciples to act this way - see Luke 10:30, 37. Perhaps the most exacting demands of the proverb are to be found in Ex. 23:4-6, where the Israelite is told that if he sees a donkey in trouble that belongs to a man who hates him, he is to help the donkey out, regardless of the personal relationship between the two men.

B. Devise not evil (vs. 29) - The clearest illustration of this in the Bible is I Kings 21 where Ahab covets the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. Jezebel devises the evil and Ahab is a party to it. The sins found in this chapter include Covetousness, Envy, Forgery, Perjury, and Murder.

C. Strive not with a man without cause (vs. 30) - The warning is against "picking a fight" - when there is nothing to fight over. Where there is a cause (I Sam. 17:29) sometimes strife is unavoidable. "Strife" is a great theme of the Proverbs (22:10; 15:18; 17:1; 18:19; 26:17; 10:12; 17:14; 20:21; 30:32; 20:3; 28:5; 16:22; 25:23).

D. Envy not the oppressor (vs. 31) - The Word tells us to choose none of his ways. Revenge is one of the ways of the oppressor that will ultimately destroy the person who harbors it in his heart. (24:28,29; 25:21,22; Romans 12:19 21).

The very reason an oppressor is what he is, lies in the root sin of selfishness. When we consider others we need to give what we can to help them, instead of always being interested in what we can receive. (Prov. 11:24-26; 18:24).

Even animals are not to be unduly oppressed - Prov. 12:10.


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