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Tug-of-War

Oxen are powerful animals used to pull carts and wagons. Two must work as a team. The yoke, a wooden beam across the shoulders of the animals, transfers force evenly to the load. This works because both oxen listen and respond to commands from the same master.  

In 2 Corinthians 6:14 Paul says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” Imagine two powerful animals bound together that don’t respect the same master. The result is a tug-of-war that could lead to disaster. If we, who believe and follow Jesus, bind ourselves to unbelievers we also can be headed for disaster. Being yoked to someone listening to someone other than God creates stress, frustration, defeat and exhaustion.

We are to bring unbelievers to Jesus, but we are not to bind ourselves to them in an effort to get them there. We can minister to, pray for, serve, befriend and pursue nonbelievers without putting ourselves into bondage to their thoughts and ways or following the commands of their “masters.” Jesus wants to bind unbelievers to Himself first. Only when Jesus has their hearts, can a man and woman go powerfully in the same direction.

Reflect:

  • What do you look for in a date? How are your standards different from God's standards?
  • Have you ever dated someone who was not Christian? What stresses and strains did it create in your relationship?
  • How can you know if you're equally-yoked with someone?

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