Purity in Relationships by Jennifer Waddle

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Purity in Relationships
Series: Relationship Wisdom That May Move Mountains
Jennifer Waddle
James 3:17

Lesson 2:  Purity in Relationships: ''My, what an ugly 'dross' you are wearing.''

Did you know that there is an actual website for ugly dresses? In fact, there are several sites that post photos of hideous gowns from weddings, proms, and other formal events. (I'm actually afraid to click on any of those links, for fear I will see a dress I used to own!)

Isn't it so like us to judge with our eyes and form opinions based on what we see?

When difficulties arise in our relationships, it's often because we are focusing on the ''dross'' of the other person; the ugly stuff that rises to the surface. Sadly, it usually takes precedence over their God-given qualities.

The word ''dross'' is technically defined as: an impurity that forms on the surface of molten metal.

As you may already know, in the refining of silver, certain elements have to be removed so that it can be purified and made beautiful. As the rubbish rises to the top, what is seen with the naked eye is not pleasant, but the Silversmith knows that what is displayed on the surface does not equal the beauty underneath.

''…the wisdom that is from above is first pure…'' (James 3:17)

As we continue with this series, Relationship Wisdom that May Move Mountains, the first attribute we will study, from James 3:17 is ''wisdom that is pure.''

Now, when we think of the word purity, we mostly think of it within the context of dating or marriage. However, there is a level of integrity to be maintained within every relationship.

In today's culture, I'm afraid we don't always have the best discernment in this area. When I look back 20 years, I can see how my mind has adapted to certain things I would never have anticipated. The ''desensitizing'' that Christian circles have been talking about for decades, seems to have happened despite my determination that it wouldn't.

But if God's wisdom is pure, and He gives us His wisdom when we ask, then certainly we are not bound by our present culture. We have the choice to hold others in high regard and walk with integrity.

''He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.'' (Proverbs 10:9)

Most of us know when to distance ourselves from toxic behaviors. There are unfortunate times when friendships must end due to unresolvable differences. Great discernment is necessary when guarding our hearts. (Prov. 3:23)

But what I'm talking about, is the superficial things that rise to the surface. You know, the irritating personality quirks or characteristics we don't necessarily like, but need to deal with in order to nurture the people God has allowed into our lives..

It can be a tough call. As we navigate within our marriages, extended families, neighbors, and friends, w ...

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