“Do not be unequally yoked/connected with unbelievers. What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? What communion has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
A yoke is a tool used by farmers to connect a team of oxen. They are connected so that they can work together to accomplish the same purpose. They are trained to obey the commands of their master/owner and to use their strength to successfully do a task that they cannot complete on their own. Ideally, they would be of equal strength, but by coupling them together their strength is increased tremendously. In contrast if an ox is teamed up with a mule, their stride will be out of step and the load will become unbalanced. Not to mention they will work against each other because one will know the commands and follow, but the other will try to go its own way.
This is a picture of what a believer looks like when partnered with an unbeliever. At first and on the surface, it may look like the two can walk together in agreement. Yet, as the relationship deepens, the core values and convictions of the two will become magnified and the relationship will become unstable and unbalanced. They will be walking out of sync and there is going to be a struggle for sure! These two will begin pulling in a direction that is based on their internal belief system. The Christian will pull toward the things of God and His Word and the unbeliever toward the world and its ways. It will not be long until the two are pulling against each other. They will not be able to do the task they set out to do because of their differences. Inevitably, one will be stronger and pull the other in their direction. This is the reason the believer often feels compelled to compromise to make the relationship seemingly stable. This connection is not limited to a dating/marriage relationship, it extends into business partnerships, friendships, and even outreach organizations. Being joined to anyone that has a different belief system will not end up with the best possible results. That is why today’s scripture says that righteousness has no fellowship with lawlessness nor light with darkness.
This idea reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:24. He said you cannot serve two masters: Either you will hate the one and love the other or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and the world/money. Jesus says that when you connect yourself with people or things of the world, your love and devotion will be taken away from your relationship with Him. You are unequally joined together with something other than what God has planned for you as a child of God. He says in this passage that you will actually serve as master what you have attached yourself too.
Today I want to encourage you to consider your relationships. Are there any relationships in your life that may be out of sync? If you are unsure of the answer, ask the LORD to reveal to you any place that there may be an unbalance. Also ask for the wisdom and ability to correct it. This is not to say that you cannot have contact with others outside of your faith. Certainly, we encounter unbelievers every day that we can encourage and point toward the love of God. But, your closest relationships work best when both parties agree and God is at the core!
Today’s scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 6:11-18
11 Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you.
12 There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us.
13 I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!
14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?
15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?
16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:“I will live in themand walk among them.I will be their God,and they will be my people.
17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.Don’t touch their filthy things,and I will welcome you.
18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”