Human beings are referred to as social animals that pursue their maturity and
happiness through countless encounters with other people. The meaningfulness
of men’s lives is connected to relationships with others. Men have to keep
appropriate relationships with others, nature, and God.
Modern culture has, however, deteriorated into extreme egoism and materialism.
Immorality and selfishness prevail. The relationships with families, colleagues,
and friends are controlled by a profit-and-loss calculation.
Korean contemporary culture has shown the same trait. Especially, Korean
culture emphasizes collectiveness. An individual always identifies himself or
herself as a member of “we.”Family, educational, regional ties require unconditional
trust among members. These ties have caused social problems, such as
social irrationality and pretension, and unjustice (bribery). What is worse, when
Korean honor and shame system has lost its functions, it has compelled Korean
people to concern what others think about them, by ignoring what they are. As
a result, people get accustomed to hypocrisy, ostentation, and pretentiousness.
Basic human relationships become distorted.
Modern scholars have employed pscyo-social methodologies to restore deviant
relationships. Of various relationships, the relationship with God is essential in
that it transcends the limitation of time and space and continues until we enter
the Kingdom of God. Therefore, the relationship with God is prior to that with
people. The Bible offers principles to treat others: A trustworthy man keeps a
secret (Proverbs 11:13); Do not slander one another (James 4;11); Bear with
each other and forgive whatever grievance you may have against one another
(Colossians 3;13); Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in
humility consider others better than yourselves (Phil 2:3); Live in harmony with
one another (Romans 12:16). These verses serve as perfect instructions that have
to be applied to Korean contemporary culture to enhance human relationships.