The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of May 4 - May 10, 2014, is 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.The Corinth church had problems severing themselves from many of the pagan traditions surrounding them.It is a topic Paul wrote to them about frequently.The Corinthians were surrounded by unbelievers and a world that did not live in accordance to how a follower of Christ should live, just as we are today.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.(2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1, ESV)
We face many of the same challenges today.We are often surrounded, in school, at work, and through media and entertainment, of actions, images, and words that are not in harmony with a Christian lifestyle.Paul suggests that in order to remain pure for God, we should not be equally yoked with unbelievers.This phraseology harkens back to the Laws of Moses in the Old Testament, specifically Deuteronomy 22:10, where the Israelites are forbidden from yoking together and ox and a donkey.An ox is considered a clean animal, whereas a donkey is considered an unclean animal.
Paul is not suggesting we avoid unbelievers.Of course not!We are to minister to them, as commanded by Jesus, yet we should surround ourselves, through marriage and friendships, with believers to strengthen and support us.We are to avoid frequenting locations and events which could lead us away from the Lord.The Corinthians were to avoid pagan ceremonies because even though they knew and had faith in the One true God, attending such events could lead them to be defiled, which can be caused by outward activities, as well as inward thoughts.As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week's reading, consider the activities and friendships that may be contaminating your relationship with the Lord.