“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or 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?” (2 Corinthians 6:14, 15 NIV84)
As a young pastor I recall these verses being applied most often to couples wanting to get married. I remember hearing about the difficulty couples have when one of them is a Christian and the other is not. I even remember hearing pastors talk about the same troubles when counseling two Christians from different denominations. Given all that introduction on these verses, I don’t want to address the yoking of two people in relationship. I want to talk about the schizophrenic way many Christians seem to exist inside themselves today.
Christianity in the West (the USA) seems to be trying to figure out how worldly we can be and still be called Christian. We seem to want to have two natures vibrantly living within us, when one of them is supposed to be put to death on a daily basis. Why do we want to have that unbelieving wicked side? Why, although we have been born again into the light of God’s grace, do we want to make sure we never leave the darkness behind? Can you relate to what I am saying? I must confess that there was a time in my own Christian life that I was teetering and balancing these things.
Listen to what Paul says! Belief and unbelief do not have anything in common. Light and darkness do not dwell together. Rather, light dispels darkness. If this is true, then we need to do some serious confession about the true will and intent of our hearts. We need to end our love affair with the ways of this world and realize that they only lead to death. We need to repent (turn around — do an about-face) and break the yoke that keeps us tied to our sinful nature and its ways. We need to surrender to Jesus, not try to figure out how much of Jesus I need to be saved while keeping that connection to the dark side.
There are just some things that don’t mix well: oil and water, light and darkness, sin and grace, the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of Heaven.
May we renew our commitment to God’s grace, forgiveness, life, peace, hope and joy, and leave all our contrary ways behind.