Joined Together (Identity in Christ Part 17)

Couple on Beach

Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness?~ 2 Corinthians 6:14.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you,~John 15:19.

Tonight, I wanted to tackle a somewhat controversial topic, our associations with non-believers. Some read scriptures and say that we should no longer associate with anyone who does not believe what we believe. That is not what Jesus modeled for us. He interacted with sinners, ate with them, and treated them well (Matthew 9:10). He loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). The verses in the Bible that warn us not to be yoked, linked, bound, and to have partnership with those who have no love for Christ speak to something deeper. It is not that as believers we are more valuable or loved by God. God loves everyone the same. The Bible does not tell us to look down our noses at anyone, but to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are not to be arrogant. We are also not called to forsake wisdom.

To be yoked which 2 Corinthians 6:14 original translation used, meant to be tied together, joined together, linked in a bond where one person went, the other must follow. A good example you may be able to relate to is a three legged race. If the two people are tied together, there is no opportunity to go a separate way. One will have to compromise. God advises us not to be linked, joined, and partnered in situations with people who do not love Him and the choices made can cause us to forsake His ways for the relationship. It’s not a, “Avoid all people who don’t think like you.” It’s a “Don’t link your life to things or relationships that may cause you to compromise.” In our day and time I can think of several examples.

1. Marriage. God tells us not to marry someone who does not believe in Him or follow Him. Not to be cruel or controlling, but He knows that in marriage two become one. How can two be joined together if they do not agree? He also states that if you marry someone and they don’t believe, it’s not grounds for divorce. So, if you’re already married to someone who is not a believer, leaving them solely for that reason is not validated by scripture. God knows trying to join two lives together with two people who love God can be challenging. Trying to join two people where one is in love with God and the other is not, can be more challenging.

2. Business partnerships.  Being business partners is something to pray about, seek God, and seek Godly counsel. If you link your life or livelihood to someone who has different morals, ethics, and core values, you may run into trouble down the line if they decide to go in a direction that is opposite your belief system.

3. Friendships, close friendships. I have friends who do not love God. I love them the same as the ones who do. I do not, however, engage in all the same activities they do. I do not compromise my beliefs to be there for them. If they go some place I don’t feel is appropriate for me to go, I don’t go. God is the standard for living, not friends, especially those who have no relationship with Him. I choose not to spend copious amounts of time with people who constantly speak negatively of others, gossip, etc…And sometimes if it’s someone I am bound to by family ties, I will try to change the subject or keep it positive.  I am friendly to everyone, but I don’t allow everyone or everything full access to my life. I am learning as I grow to allow God to pick my friends and close confidants. He knows all and has everyone’s best interests at heart. He knows how to link the right people together.

Final words:

We were not created to fit in, blend in, or conform to the ways of this world. We were not created to force the world to be like us. We were created for the glory of God. We are a light in the world. We are no longer in darkness. We have nothing to brag about, we can only boast in God’s goodness and show the world how awesome our Papa is. We are not spiritual snobs, but humble partners with Christ to impact the world. May we link our lives to Jesus. May we love the way He loves without compromising our integrity or walk with Him. May we be an influence in this world instead of being influenced. May our relationships be what God wants them to be.

You are loved friends. I hope this post shed some light on a controversial topic. Blessings,~Erin

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