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And what dangers does this present to those who are looking for romance?Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing A father named Michael was alarmed to learn at a seminar that a large proportion of children disobey parental rules against visiting dangerous Web sites. How can something that looks so innocent and safe—a computer terminal right in your own home—actually present a danger to you? Dating in this fashion may put you in serious danger—whether physical, emotional, or spiritual.Some of the dangers are related to an important Bible principle.The apostle Paul wrote: “We wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.” (Hebrews ) Now, this is not to suggest that it is dishonest to use the Internet or even that using the Internet will make you dishonest.“When you talk with someone in person,” says George, quoted earlier, “you may learn something from his facial expressions and the tone of his voice. It’s easy to be fooled.” Wise, indeed, is the Bible’s advice: “Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself, but the inexperienced have passed along and must suffer the penalty.” (Proverbs 22:3) Granted, not everyone you meet over the Internet is a dangerous predator. A young man from Ireland named Sean admits: “It’s very easy to pretend to be something you’re not when you’re typing onto a computer screen.” Many people take all this deception lightly, rationalizing that it is only natural to lie a little bit when embarking on a romance. (John ) Dishonesty is the worst possible basis for any relationship, especially one that is intended to lead to a lifelong union.However, there are additional ways in which people “hide what they are.” The Dangers of Deception and Secrecy Not surprisingly, a common practice among those seeking romance on the Internet is to exaggerate or invent good traits and to minimize or conceal serious faults. Worse, dishonesty is a spiritual danger; it damages the liar’s relationship with Jehovah God.
Some young people have found, to their surprise, that the “youth” with whom they shared a budding romance over the Internet was actually an adult prison inmate.
For example, note the kind of dishonesty described in this Bible verse: “I have not sat with men of untruth; and with those who hide what they are I do not come in.” (Psalm 26:4) What is meant by “those who hide what they are”?
Some Bible translations here read “hypocrites.” As one reference work notes, this expression can be applied to “those who hide their purposes or designs from others, or who conceal their real character and intentions.” How is such dishonesty practiced on the Internet?
As the preceding article in this series discussed, Internet romances may blossom quickly, but they often wither when reality sets in.* Still, there is a greater cause for concern than mere disappointment.
“On the Internet, you may not actually know who the other person is.”—Dan, 17.* “People can lie on the Internet. INTERNET dating continues to grow in popularity worldwide.
In time, though, they seek to meet in person in order to carry out their perverted desires.