Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
"Flee from fornication. . . . He that practices fornication is sinning against his own body."
(1 Corinthians 6:18)
The study method used in our publications is that of questions and answers. No doubt, the majority of people with whom you study the Bible will quickly be able to answer the printed questions, using the information in the corresponding paragraphs. Still, the discerning teacher will not be satisfied simply with the right answers. For example, a student may be able to explain correctly what the Bible says about fornication. Tactful viewpoint questions, however, can indicate what the student really thinks about what he is learning. The teacher might thus ask: “Why does the Bible condemn sexual relations outside of marriage? What do you think about this God-given restriction? Do you think that there is any benefit from living according to God’s moral standards?” The response to such questions can reveal what is in the student’s heart.
(Watchtower issue: 01/15/08, 2:8)
*thinking about the long-term physical, and emotional consequences of fornication is also a beneficial way to prevent it. A fairly recent Watchtower article brought out a point that had never even dawned on me before, when it came to Joseph and the reason which probably played a strong role in his persistent determination to reject the sexual advances of Potiphar's wife. I never connected the dots about how Joseph (being Dinah's younger brother) saw how much grief and all the bad consequences that resulted from just a single act or mistake due to bad judgement.
If you read the account at Genesis chapter 34 and imagine the situation through the eyes of Joseph (as a little boy), it sheds a whole new light on his later behavior in dealing with Potiphar's wife and his firm integrity to Jehovah's principles on morality. Just think of all the repercussions that came from Dinah putting herself in a compromising situation and then being violated by She'chem (Genesis 34:1-7) -Followed by all the ostracism which was brought upon his family after his older brothers tricked She'chem and the men of the city into getting circumcised, and then went on a vengeful killing spree to defend their sister's honor. Jacob even had to move his whole family from their residence in Canaan because of the chain-reaction of events that were triggered by this one incident!
So thinking a situation through-all the way to the 'possible future consequences' can be the very thing that helps to prevent us from acting on our emotions or foolishly putting ourselves in positions where temptation is hard to resist.