Don’t Go Around In Circles
2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull. An “unequally yoked” team has one stronger ox and one weaker, or one taller and one shorter. The weaker or shorter ox would walk slower than the taller, stronger one, causing the load they carry to go round in circles. When oxen are unequally yoked, they cannot perform the task set before them. Instead of working together, they are at odds with one another.
Unity is crucial for any organization and partnership to work smoothly and effectively. However, the Bible warns us that being united with the wrong team members can become a source of constant conflict and frustration and thus cause members to go around in circles and be unproductive.
Many Christians do not take this teaching seriously and have chosen unbelievers as their business partners or even worse, as their lifetime marriage companions. Many people think that the only difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is that one goes to church for worship on Sunday mornings and the other one does not. As such, they think this is not a problem at all as after marriage, one partner can go for Sunday worship and the other can go and play golf or tennis or engage in other leisure activities. They can even plan to have lunch or dinner together after their different activities for the day. In this way, they think there will not be any conflict as each partner can do what he or she pleases, which sounds very ideal for a loving couple.
However, the believers have neglected that being a Christian involves a whole different set of beliefs and values which shapes one’s choices and decisions. This clash of value systems will surface as a shock to both parties as they progress further into their marriage lives. It will continue to present itself in all different circumstances causing irritations and conflicts. Even more serious differences will surface once the children arrive.
In many cases of such yoking together with unbelievers, the outcome is dissolution of the business partnership or the marriage, which is usually a very painful and costly process. Alternatively, if dissolution is not possible for whatever reasons, compromises have to be made of values and beliefs in order to try to minimize constant conflicts and tensions. In many instances, the Christians end up compromising and backsliding in their personal walk with God.
Many who have chosen to marry unbelievers end up not going to church for regular worship and they also avoid Christian fellowship for the sake of easing tensions at home. Consequently, they fall out of the blessings that come from regular Christian fellowship and they live with resentment and guilt for the most part of their lives.
Those who have gone into business partnership with unbelievers realize as they progress in their business commitments that they have to bend over backwards on many of their Christian principles in order for business deals to go through. As the sense of priorities is very different between believers and unbelievers, believers sometimes feel the need to compromise their individual values and over time, they may even discard their principles altogether. As a result, most of the time, the believer starts to get caught up in the ways of the world and finds it more and more difficult to uphold Christian values.
We are called to be in the world but “not of the world” (John 17:16) and as such, God instructs and warns us not to be “yoked together with unbelievers”. Jesus wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), but we must at the same time be wise and not be misled to think that being “yoked together with unbelievers” is part and parcel of loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Let us pray.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me the danger of being yoked with unbelievers. Teach me to love the unbelievers as You do and to lead them into knowing You and receiving Your salvation. Give me the strength to overcome any temptation I may face from the world. I commit to fix my eyes on You and what Your Word teaches, conducting my life in ways that please You and not the world. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”