Unequally Yoked with Another
Once we truly set out to seek God with all our heart, mind and soul we start to change. We are drawing ever close to the presence of God. More of who God is, is filling our lives. His Spirit is working and molding us inside out. 2 Corinthians 3:18
One area this transformation in our souls becomes apparent is with relationships with non-believers. When we are truly born of God and growing in our new life in Him, these relationships change. It’s more than engaging in different behaviors. It’s more than having a different focus, direction, and mind-set. It’s more than having different values, though all these come into play. There is a divergence occurring on the deepest level of our being.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
At the core, believers and non-believers are dwelling in different places; one in Christ the other not. One is growing in truth and love, the other is not. Only from God comes truth and love. Only by being connected to Him can we truly know these. One is an eternal living being and the other is not.
Though a believer’s love for non-believers grows as they draw near to God, the ability to deeply connect begins to wane. A true believer and a non-believer can’t be truly yoked. Being yoked is connecting to others on a deep level within our souls. We connect when we are in a similar place internally. When we connect at this level, there is a powerful depth and intimacy that is shared. There is a special connection that is made and each life is greatly influenced by the other. Yoking is what we desire in our marriages and our closest friendships. It’s a deep connection between two souls.
Recently, I learned a great lesson in unequal yoking. I have a friend from my days prior to having a relationship with God. I called myself a Christian. I presumed I was saved, but I didn’t seek God. I didn’t walk with Him. During that time in my life though she was a non-believer, we were in a similar place internally and our souls became yoked.
As I started to seek God and His ways, a gap between her and I started to form. Our relationship became strained because I was no longer where I used to be – in that internal place where we so strongly connected. The spiritual battle in our relationship grew. You could feel the underlining tension as the gap widened. My love for her didn’t fade, but my ability to connect with her as I once had did.
For months, I didn’t understand what was happening. I prayed for our friendship. I tried to nurture our connection. I thought it was a phase. Then one day as I was praying for counsel in this relationship, the Holy Spirit cut through the whirlwind in my head as I tried to get my mind around what was happening and impressed upon me the verse above. We were unequally yoked. I can’t be how I once was with her. The love remains, but our deeper connection is gone.
The Holy Spirit simply told me what had already happened and what I knew deep down – our connection as it once existed was gone – the yoke was broken. I needed to accept it for what it was and let go.
The connection between a true believer and non-believer is limited. They are simply in two different places spiritually. It doesn’t mean we can’t have relationships with non-believers. It means that it will only be at a certain level, and should be at a certain level. We shouldn’t be trying to form a “yoke”. We can be very blessed by relationships with all kinds of people of all walks of life. However, when it comes down to connecting with others at the depth of our soul, being yoked, we are to focus on connections with believers. With non-believers we can only connect so much, there will always be a gap as there is between life and death. And what communion has light with darkness?
For your relationships with non-believers, seek God’s will for you and them. Sometimes we have to let go. Sometimes we have to embrace the limitations. Sometimes we have to reconnect at a different level.