Let’s unbox some of our Christianese today. You know what I’m talking abou when I say Christianese- those terms that are used among Christians that have some Christiany reference, that other people usually don’t understand, or they understand, but don’t use. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this thing.
One Christianese term that you might have heard before is “being equally yoked” in our relationships. A lot of Christians don’t even have a big grasp on what that means. I mean, what the heck DOES it mean?
This phrase comes from 2 Corinthians 6:14. The verse tells us not to be yoked with unbelievers. A yoke is a wooden bar that links two oxen together so that they share the burden of the weight of whatever they are pulling. If the oxen aren’t equal, like if one is strong and one is weak, for instance, or if one is tall, and the other is short, causing the yoke to not be distributed evenly, then one has to take more of the burden than the other. They can’t work together and help each other mutually.
So if we apply this scenario in our own lives, do you see how it could be a problem? If someone doesn’t have a passion for God and doesn’t care about living for them, then it’s just not the same, trying to share about where you struggle and need encouragement. You can certainly talk to the person about God, but not in the same way that you could when talking to someone who already knows exactly what you mean personally. Sometimes, it might even be harder to be there for someone who doesn’t know Christ. Personally, God is such a big part of my life and I find so much hope and comfort in who He is. When my friends are going through something, one of the first things I think of to say is about how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our weakness. An unbeliever just wouldn’t find it that helpful, unless they just thought it was thoughtful for me to say something, period.
If you strive after God with everything you have, it’s a lot harder to find things in common with people who aren’t striving after God. This yoke thing applies in romantic relationships as well as friendships. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that if someone isn’t a Christian, to write them off and act aloof around them. That’s not the point. We should be loving and respectful and we should care, simply because other people are human. But we need to guard our hearts. We can pour into people, but we can’t expect them to pour into us. If we have the light of Christ, we can share that, but what can someone who is in the dark do to help a person who already has the light? Nothing. We need to be careful with who we put our trust in and who we confide in because we want the people who pour into us to have a personal relationship with Jesus. It’s that simple.