Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shake the dust from your feet

I have a rug in the front room that seems to attract everything, from dog hair to dirt and grass from every ones shoes as they walk by. It almost seems impossible to keep it clean.

Isn't that also true of the company that we keep?

Often times we think that we will be able to "clean up" our lost friends, so we walk down the same road with them, but invariably all that happens is that we get their dust on us. Instead of changing them, they change us. It is true what I have heard..

"It is easier to pull someone down to your level than pull them up."

I guess this is why Jesus warned us to not be unequally yoked together..

2 Corinthians 6:17,18 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."  18"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

To be unequally yoked is to be mismatched. Many people think this is in reference to marriage...for believers to not marry unbelievers. But to be unequally yoked or mismatched crosses over into all of our relationships from marriage (and dating) to our friendships and even our business associates.

A yoke is a wooden frame that would be placed upon two animals to plow. The yoke was designed to cause the two animals to work together as one. We may not understand what the problem being unequally yoked could be but Paul understood, he is remembering the law that was found in Deuteronomy...

"Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together." (Deuteronomy 22:10)

Wouldn't that be strange to see a strong, burly ox tied up with a stubborn, kicking, small sized donkey? I'm not sure which one would be the dominant one...the strong one or the stubborn one? It would be difficult for the two to blend together and work as one.

In order to work as one, we may need to step back and review who and what we may be yoked to. Is it possible that our vision and purpose have become dusty because of who we are tied with? If you are not sure if your relationship is unyoked, ask yourself this:

1. Is your relationship easily broken?
A yoke is not easily broken. It is a permanent relationship, once the animals are yoked, they are bound together. They must do things together, no matter how uncomfortable it is.

2. Is your relationship constraining?
Does it permit independent action or are you bound to what your friend, spouse or business partner believes. Is there freedom to serve God or do you have to do it privately? Any relationship that does not permit a believer to follow God in all things is a yoke.

Recognize the signs early in the relationship, and if needed, break that yoke. It may be time to shake the rugs in your life....get rid of the dust that is clouding your righteous path.

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?: 2 Corinthians 6:14