What psychology tells us about our social setting and what God tells us about them…

Are you truly set apart?

           Social-Cognitive theory is the view that people learn by watching others. In psychology, it explains personality in terms of how a person thinks about and responds to one’s social environment.  People are also more likely to imitate those they identify with. This is a theory that makes me think the most out of all of them.  Why you may ask well simple the Bible tells us, “Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor. 15:33).  This tells me that even if you have the best intentions those people that you are around influence you.  Have you ever heard of the term you are who you hang out with?  That is what Social-Cognitive theory reminds me of.  I hung out with drug deals and addicts of different natures for ten plus years, so I too became like my environment.  The Bible tells us that, “Iron sharpens iron…” (Prov. 27:17).  So if you surround yourself by Godly company then you will be sharpened but it also works the other way.

One of the main criticisms of Social-Cognitive Theory is that it is not a unified theory.  By this is mean that some aspects of the theory do not tie together to make a cohesive explanation of behavior.  When I read this it also made me think about this theory in a whole and what the Bible says about our environment.  Think about it we are called to be like Jesus and He hung out with the lowly and the poor.  The prostitutes and the tax collectors where His closest friend… The Bible tells us that, “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world” (1Jn. 4:4) yet it also tells us bad company corrupts good character.  This gets me stumped because this theory tells us that you learn by what is around you in your social setting and yes just because you learn it does not mean that you will do it but yet Jesus put Himself in the midst of this vile world.  So studying this challenges me to think about how we view human behavior.  I believe that Social-Cognitive behavior is right in the aspect that you are who you hang around, especially for those who are not Christians.  Yet I also believe that He who is in me is greater than he who is in this world so I will not live in my ivory tower but walk and talk to those lost children of God in order to get a chance to save their souls.

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