Many might cringe reading this verse “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Many with unbeliever as a family member, friends, even spouse might quickly circumvent this verse. But, let me take a minute and dwell here, I, even I, with the mother, sisters, brother, and friends who are unbelievers.
For a long time I read it quickly to spare dwelling on my “unfortune” of spending most of my time among unbelievers, and then I read this verse “ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” (Matthew 11:20). He didn’t seem to be intimidated by this title “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” why should I cringe at holding the same?
Before you skeptics roar saying, “See, there is a biblical inconsistency.” Let me present my point.
Every time I read this word “yoke” in bible, those childhood memories of intriguingly watching bulls pulling a stunning bullock cart in one of the Indian cities, comes to mind. That is exactly what it means to be yoked, to pull the weight together. United so close, for one purpose, one destiny, and share every single value. I am sure Christ was not yoked with sinners, but He was a friend of sinners. It might seem like a word play but there indeed a vast area between these two. Except in marriage, no other relationship really mandates one purpose, one destiny, one faith, one belief, essentially yoked.
So, my christian friends, if you are known as a friend of sinners (unbelievers), rest assured your Savior held the same title. But be very careful, not to be unintentionally yoked with them. If you pretend, compromise, balance, your christian value for just being united, it is then you got yoked, and that! Paul condemns.
He asks heatedly,
“what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
what fellowship can light have with darkness?
What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?
what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”
And I will answer, “Nothing, absolutely nothing.”
Righteousness saves the wicked,
Light dispels darkness,
Christ won belial,
We carry Christ to unbelievers.
And my friend that requires connection, love, sensitivity, even friendship.
“Not for yourself, O church, do you exist, any more than Christ existed for himself.” Said once, a Prince of Preachers.
Now reason, how do we exist to bring some to the saving knowledge, when everyone we know, already knows? So, let’s go get friends, but we better not be yoked.