Friday, January 11, 2008
Devotional on 2 Corinthians 6:14 Part 1
I'm beginning a two-part devotional series on 1 Corinthians 6:14. I pray that it will be used by God to be a blessing to all of you! :)
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
~2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)
Oftentimes, we read this verse and just think that it's speaking on the fact that we shouldn't be unequally yoked together with a spouse who isn't a believer. And even though this verse does mean exactly that, it's really referring to any kind of relationship-including friendships. And that's what I want to dedicate this first part of the series to-speaking on how we musn't be yoked together in friendships with unbelievers.
1 Corinthians 15:33 shows us this truth quite clearly when it warns us that, "Do not be decieved: bad company corrupts good habits." This verse does not say that bad company *may* corrupt good habits! Rather it says do not be decived, because bad company does indeed, without a doubt, corrupt good habits(or morals or character, depending on what version of the Bible you use). It's a guarantee! It will and does happen. And sadly, this verse doesn't say that just non-Christians will corrupt our good morals-it says bad company in general. And all too often, this includes even our Christian friends and family! I've known this to be a very sad fact, but a fact nonetheless. I have an extended family member that tends to bring out the worst in everybody she's around. At our old youth group, even though those friends were supposed to be Christians, they were very bad influences for me. And how tragic that is-that all too often even Christians themselves(or those who call themselves Christians) appear to be and act so much like the lost world. That's a tragedy-a horrible horrible tragedy! As Christians, people should be able to just look at us and watch us and automatically know by the way we act and the things we say that we're Christians. But this just isn't the fact with so many people today. Thus, we have the problem of being badly influenced by so-called Christians(some of whom, I'm sure truly are Christians-they just aren't acting like it).
That's why this passage in 2 Corinthians also can't just refer to non-Christians. Because, as we've seen, sometimes even the "Christians" are some of the worst influences for us. So, I believe that it's very important, in accordance with this verse, to be very close friends with only those who believe and have the same convictions you do. It's important to have close friends that are only Christians, but it's oftentimes even more important to have those close friends be only those who have the same convictions you do(i.e. roles of men and women, convictions on Biblical family life, etc.). Because even well-meaning, Christian friends, if they don't have these same convictions and are thus very feministic, can influence you horribly. Without you meaning to fall prey to it, they can lead you into thinking more about feminism and how it may not be "all that bad". However, those of us who know that feminism's teachings are horrible, must be very careful to only spend a lot of time with friends who are likeminded in these areas.
Now, this is not to say at all that you shouldn't be friendly and loving with non-Christian people, as well as Christians who are very feministic. We are called on by God Himself to be kind, loving and friendly to everybody-by so doing we're showing them the love of Christ. But this does not mean that we're to be buddy buddy with them. It simply means that we show them love and kindness, but are not to become close friends with them. It's very important that we have acquaintances who are non-Christians, because we're called on to be witnesses and to throw God's Word as the sower did. But we are not to become "best friends" with these people. Because, sadly, even though we hope that we would be influencing them if we were to spend much time with them, this verse admonishes us to not be deceived: they would be the ones influencing us.
In this new church, the Lord has truly blessed me with some of the most likeminded, encouraging, dear friends. It's such a blessing to have friends that have the same convictions you do! I praise God for these dear people. Ladies, if you don't have friends such as these, I encourage you to stay strong in your high standards for friendship, and to pray that the Lord would provide for you friends who are likeminded. He knows your needs as well as the desires of your heart. Always remember that, and trust in Him! Have very high standards and don't settle for close friendships that aren't the best for you!