Life is a race. The starting line was our birth day and the finish line the day we breathe our last. From point A to point B we are called to run with purpose, endurance, steadfastness, and faithfulness, not looking to the left or the right or becoming weighed down by sin, but running straight towards our goal—Jesus Christ.
While we understand that we should avoid sin and all that weighs us down in our race of faith, there is one key factor that I believe we often overlook. A factor that can either spur us on to greater faithfulness and stronger running or completely derailing and sidelining us from our calling. This key factor is who we run with.
People. We’re surrounded by them each and every day of our lives. They honk at us on the road, cut in front of us at the grocery store, and fill our lives with extra drama. But even though people fill each and every aspect of our lives, we can choose—outside of family—those we allow into our life, those we choose to do life with. The masses will never have a meaningful place in our life, but a small handful of friends will. And this small handful of people can make a huge impact on us in a positive or negative way. Therefore, it is crucial to choose these people wisely.
The wisest man on earth said, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20) Here in II Corinthians, Paul gives us an even narrower definition of the type of people we should live life with.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
~II Corinthians 6:14
The picture here is that of unequally matched livestock. If you were trying to plow a field with a small donkey and a large ox yoked together, it wouldn’t work very well. Likewise, we should not try to live our life for the Lord and go about His business unequally yoked with unbelievers.
Often we hear this passage in association with marriage. While it is very important that we not bind ourselves in an unequally yoked marriage relationship, this verse is actually speaking to all of our close relationships and not just marriage. Whether we’re interested in starting a business, ministry, or accountability group, we must be careful who we choose to partner with.
In this world, we are surrounded by the ungodly, unbelieving masses, however, we do not need to form a partnership with them and allow them to have a close relationship with us. We are called to witness, minister, and be voices of truth into their lives, but not necessarily become best friends. On the contrary, Paul tells us “what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
Remember, we are called to be in the world, but not of the world. Therefore, let us be extremely careful who we live life with and not become unequally yoked in any way with unbelievers.
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