Our pastor’s message yesterday was very challenging and I feel it is something everyone deals with at some point in their lives, if not continually for some.
It is the topic of being unequally yoked. I loved the way it was explained and presented and I think you’ll agree…
“Do not be unequally yoked (bound together) with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
The word fellowship means “joint participation toward a common goal”. I’ve always thought of this verse as pertaining to marriage or dating relationships, but in reality it is addressing all relationships; even those with family. For the last several weeks, there has been a real yoke propped up against the stage at church. Yesterday, our pastor gave a great example of what non-believer relationships do to our relationship with Christ. If you and a non-Christian friend are “yoked together”, it is like your head is in the yoke facing north and the non-believer’s head is in the yoke facing south.
Where does the relationship take you?
Toward a common goal?
Closer to Jesus?
As you strive to go north and your friend is pressing south, you move in a constant circle, going no where.
The fellowship you share should be taking you in the same direction, together, sharing one another’s burdens.
When our senior pastor was a youth pastor, his teenagers would come to him seeking advice on a romantic relationship with someone. The first thing he’d ask them is: “Does he/she love Jesus more than life itself?” If the answer was no, then there was no question as to whether or not the relationship was okay.
With every relationship you have, you must weigh it against this question: “Does this relationship promote Jesus in my life?”
The closer the relationship, the more important this rule becomes.
Of course this does not mean we stop all communication with our non-believing friends and family. We are still called to pray for and minister to them through our words and our actions, but we have to be careful not to come into agreement or partner with them in any way that draws us away from the Lord.
For those of you who may feel it is difficult to let go of those close friendships with unbelievers and find the right kind of people to develop relationships with, I encourage you to not concentrate on finding the right kind of friend, but rather focus on being the kind of person that attracts the right kind of friends. Make yourself available. Put yourself in the right situations to develop the right kind of relationships. Darkness is not attracted to light. People desiring to live in sin and make poor choices will not be drawn to a person who radiates Jesus and openly makes tough choices based on their convictions.
Above all, we are called to choose Jesus over every other relationship we have.
At this season in my life, this was not a difficult word to hear. My life is rather sheltered right now as my children are young, we homeschool with other believers, and have many commitments at church that keep us busy. However, there are still times when I have to examine my friendships and determine whether or not they are encouraging me in the direction that I need to be going.
It’s a lot to think about.
Happy Monday! 🙂