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 agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:14,16
If you’ve ever seen two yoked animals, you know that a matched pair of animals is necessary. Otherwise, they won’t move as a team. That’s why you would never yoke a horse with an ox.
These verses from Corinthians offer excellent advice for all kinds of relationships. To be yoked with someone means you are working with them as a team.
Sometimes believers read these verses and they are tempted to think they need to build a high wall around themselves, close the drawbridge and never come out lest they be infected by the evil world. That’s not what the rest of the Bible tells us, however, nor was that Jesus’ example to us.
We need to pray that we can be around unbelievers—at school, at work, in the neighborhood—and yet not be influenced by them. We need to discern how to have friendships with unbelievers and yet know where to draw the line. We need to interact with them, but not be yoked to them. We need to pray that we will shine for Christ and influence unbelievers—not the other way around.
Heavenly Father, because we are your temples, you command that we not make lasting commitments with unbelievers. Thank you for the promise that you will walk among us and be our God.