Mixing the sacred with the profane

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Don't be unequally yoked"? It's actually from the Bible, 2 Corinthians 6:14 to be exact. I have heard that phrase used before to justify all sorts of division and even racism. The only problem is, most people haven't paid attention to the rest of the sentence, "...with unbelievers." That's right, followers of Christ aren't to yoke themselves - be in relationships - with unbelievers.

Does this mean we aren't to have friends who do not follow Christ? What about a business partner who isn't a Christian? In this passage the Apostle Paul is referring specifically to relationships between men and women that are on the levels of commitment and marriage. Guys, don't date a girl who isn't a Christian. Girls, don't go out with guys who aren't followers of Christ. Men and women, don't consider marriage with another who is not in love with Jesus.

Why would Paul write in such a blunt way? Because in his day almost 2000 years ago, much like today, Christians had a tendency to mix the sacred with the profane. He later asks the question in 2 Corinthians 6:15, "What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" It's like trying to mix water and oil. There are certain things that just do not go together.

These things are written for our protection. Buy you say, "Why is it that all the cute guys/cute girls/eligible men/eligible women/fun guys/fun girls never seem to be Christians? And why do the believers I know never seem to be my type?" I honestly don't know the answer to those questions but perhaps the truth lies in what it is you are putting most of your emphasis on when it comes to relationships.

And of course, there is a broader meaning to be enjoyed with all of this. We have the tendency to mix the sacred and profane well beyond the realm of relationships. Let us not forget that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and that we literally take Jesus into every situation that we encounter. Do you look at junk on the internet? Then Jesus is right there with you. Have you ever been involved in an unfair business practice or cheated? Jesus was there too. Yep, Jesus and me all the time.

Some may consider these words rather harsh or elitist. I couldn't disagree more. There is more than enough relativistic garbage out there to drag the believer down into the cesspool of indifference. We must be on guard at all times to keep our hearts, our minds, and our bodies focused on Christ. God chooses to relate to us on the most personal of levels and that's why relationships can be such a battle ground for the heart and mind of the believer.

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