Don’t be unequally yoked
Don’t be unequally yoked. What does this mean exactly? What is the Apostle Paul warning us against? Are we to avoid non-believers at all costs? If so, then how could we further the Kingdom of God and share the Gospel of Jesus?
Let us start by examining the scripture in question.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” 2 Corinthians 6:14-20.
Notice, the scripture does not say, to stay away from unbelievers at all costs. Rather, it tells us not to be yoked or bound with them. This phrase is referring to intimate and close relationships, the most intimate being that of marriage. However, I believe this also includes your close friends and associates, those who you spend a majority of your time with, and those you confide in, and take advice from. This could also include other close bonds, such as business partners.
Obviously, we are going to encounter and engage with non-believers daily. They will be at work, and even at family gatherings. For our most precious and close relationships, we must never bind ourselves, or yoke ourselves with those who are not of the faith, this will only lead to disaster in our lives or worse, draw us away from our most precious relationship of all, the LORD our God.
Let us consider the words of the great Bible commentator Matthew Henry,
“It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts as to marriages clearly appear. Instead of a help meet, the union brings a snare. Those whose cross it is to be unequally united, without their wilful fault, may expect consolation under it; but when believers enter into such unions, against the express warnings of God’s word, they must expect must distress. The caution also extends to common conversation. We should not join in friendship and acquaintance with wicked men and unbelievers. Though we cannot wholly avoid seeing and hearing, and being with such, yet we should never choose them for friends. We must not defile ourselves by converse with those who defile themselves with sin. Come out from the workers of iniquity, and separate from their vain and sinful pleasures and pursuits; from all conformity to the corruptions of this present evil world. If it be an envied privilege to be the son or daughter of an earthly prince, who can express the dignity and happiness of being sons and daughters of the Almighty?” 1
The world is changing and the hostility towards all that is good, all that is sacred, and all that is godly is growing at an alarming pace. Gone are the days when one can hide their faith under a bowl. Gone are the days when one can straddle the fence between the ways of God and the ways of the world. Instead, let us yoke ourselves to the truth and light of God’s word, and may we walk in his ways, commandments, and grace. Let us come out from among the world and separate ourselves from the idols, trinkets, lust, and deceptions of this wicked age.