Holy Partnerships [Devotional]

holy partnerships

 


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Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:14-16a, NLT).

This passage of Scripture gives good food for thought when it comes to the relationships in which we invest. Some Christians take this to an extreme and live on a compound, where they only associate with people who think exactly like them. Such an extreme is not only unhealthy; it's also dangerous because it sets you up for deception. It also puts you in a position where you have no impact on those who don’t know Christ.

So if we’re not to move to a compound and isolate ourselves from those who don’t know Christ, how then do we apply this passage of Scripture? How do we have holy partnerships?

It’s important to understand that having relationships with unbelievers is different from “teaming up” with unbelievers. For instance, you can have relationships with those who don’t know Christ, but it’s a bad idea for a believer to marry an unbeliever. It’s also dangerous for Christians to have official partnerships such as business partnerships with those who are unbelievers.

There are many reasons why this is the case. First, you can’t expect an unbeliever to “get it” when you base your decisions on what God reveals to you, and how He leads you. Another believer will likely be more understanding when it comes to your decision to move forward in a certain way because you’ve prayed about something, and feel God leading you to take a specific action. That would make no sense to someone who doesn’t believe!

In addition to that, an unbeliever may have different morals. They may feel that it’s fine to do things that are incompatible with your faith.

Another really big difference is that, as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” I’ve seen this in couples where one is a Christian, and the other isn’t. While it’s possible that the Christian will lead the unbeliever to Christ, what often happens is that the believer will, instead, walk away from what was once a vibrant relationship with Christ.

The bottom line is that as Christians, we can have casual relationships with unbelievers, but our deepest relationships should be with those who walk closely with God.

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Praying the Word

Father, give me wisdom in my relationships with unbelievers. Help me to be salt and light to the unbelievers I know, but help me to pursue deeper relationships and partnerships with other believers.

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Applying the Word

Jot down the names of the five people with whom you spend a lot of time. If the majority of your deeper relationships are with unbelievers, be proactive in developing deeper relationships with other Christians. Start off by reaching out to one Christian you admire, and asking to get together with him. Remember, you don’t have to ditch your relationship with every unbeliever in your life. Just make sure you’re associating with people who will build you up in your walk with Christ.

(I want to add a side note here. If your spouse is an unbeliever, I do NOT advocate ending that relationship. Pray for your spouse, and live out your faith in as godly as a way as possible. Be sure that you also spend ample time with other believers who can help keep you focused on the truth of Scripture.)

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