|What would happen to the light if the dark took over?|
In researching this topic I found myself wanting to talk to someone who I have seen to be a man who lives what he preaches. He gave me some good Godly counsel that I want to share! Thanks Rick!
In talking to others throughout my life, and in trying to decide for myself on the topic of friendships for a Christian I often would refer to the verse in II Corinthians 6:14 regarding light and darkness and being unequally yoked.
II Corinthians 6:14 -"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" I learned from my conversation with my preacher that the concept of the "yoke" thing comes from a passage in Deuteronomy 22:10 - "Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together". In this situation if an ox and a donkey were yoked together it will be the ox that determines where they are going to go. When you take the text from the NT it moves to the spiritual realm. The idea that a Christian should never place themselves in a position where a non-believer (non Christian) would have undue influence over the Christian's life. This could be in work; the boss asking an employee to keep two sets of books, or using the subject at hand in friendships...being friends with a non Christian who would influence the Christian to do something outside of what God has asked us to be or do. Like, oh, I don't know...drinking, doing drugs (yes, EVEN pot for those who think there is nothing wrong with it) (thinking about amendment 64 today), lying, cheating,...etc, etc, etc... I am even going to remind us that if we don't do those things, but those friendships would accept us if we DID do them...what kind of friends would they be??...yep...NO! Remember in the last post I talked about Proverbs 22:24-25 "Don't befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them." ? Well, do think God would think any different about associating with people who are liars, cheaters, drinkers, drug users? hmmm...what is the wisdom here?
Back to this concept of light and darkness as the visual at the top refers to. Let's get real...LIGHT is something that is warm and shows everything, you can see very clearly. I John 1:5 "...God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all." God is understood to be "light". But "darkness" is not really a thing to be measured in any way except it is the absence of light...thinking in spiritual terms it is those things that God is not. Look at I John 1:6 - "If we have fellowship [Koinonia: to share, have in common, participate together] (thanks again Rick for the Greek) with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth". Just a side note...we already know that God hates a liar, and a liar is one who will not go to heaven. That came from God...ouch...TRUE!
One final twist to this idea of not being unequally yoked and friendships. I can't tell you how many people write me and ask me to talk about how this works in a marriage. SO, I can't let this topic close without addressing this issue. This will in NO way be comprehensive, but we can use the scripture above and couple it with a married couple who is "one" together. Genesis 2:24. If you are in a marriage that is a contract between you, your spouse and God.
You made promises before God to let no man put asunder (that also means YOU), to cherish, to live together as one putting ONLY God first before each other. All the scripture I used above still applies...but what if there are friendships that one party has that are not what God would want; does it hurt the marriage? YOU BET IT DOES! If a married couple is truly trying to live with God's commands foremost in life and a friendship that one spouse has that is outside of what we just considered above, how can there be light in that marriage? How can the one spouse stay in the light and still be "yoked" with their mate that may choose to have friendships that hurt the marriage by bringing darkness into the union in the form of friendships that are not what God would have us cultivate? I urge you to really consider these words and if you are the one who has friendships with the world what are you doing to your spouse? It's tough stuff, but there IS a Godly answer. We've already looked at it...simply, make your friendships in the light. And, most surely NEVER let those friendships you may have hurt your spouse or your marriage..the goal to keep your spouse first only after God, so THAT relationship is the most important here on this earth.
In closing (for now), the excuse that people often make about Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors (which were the dregs of society in the 1st century), if HE is doing that and we are to walk in His footsteps, what about that?? Yep, I've heard those excuses...and the answer is simple...WHAT was Jesus doing when He was eating with them? Yep, He was teaching salvation. Yep, He was influencing them. He was the Ox so to speak. So, if there is a friendship that falls in the "darkness" category and your intent is to influence them, teach them the truth AWESOME...but, get real, if you are using it as an excuse to continue with friendships that are outside the light for years and years...chances are you are not influencing them, they are supporting you and influencing you...chances are...Be careful out there!! :)