Devotional for the week of December 3, 2017

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Navigating Friendships with Unbelievers

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14, NIV).

The idea of being unequally yoked is a pretty well-known concept among Christians, but this can be one of the hardest concepts to tackle in your everyday life.

If you are finding it hard to navigate your friendships with unbelievers, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself some questions. Do you feel the need to hide your faith or do you talk about it openly without fear of judgment? Do you behave the same when spending time with both unbelievers and believers? What is your goal in your friendship with unbelievers? Are you seeking to plant seeds of faith?

Some people might say, “Well, Jesus spent a lot of time with unbelievers, so how could it be a bad thing?” It is true that Jesus spent time with unbelievers, but He wasn’t spending time with unbelievers just to hang out and have some laughs; He was ministering to them. I’m going to tell you a hard truth: You may have friendships with unbelievers, but you are never going to have fellowship with unbelievers. Let me explain.

The word fellowship has many meanings: to gather, to collect, but most importantly, it means partnership. When you have fellowship, you have a common vision, a united goal in Christ. First John 1:3 tells us “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” Jesus is the bedrock of your soul, so how do you have true fellowship and share your soul with a friend who doesn’t know Jesus?

One of the best ways to balance your friendships with unbelievers is getting into Christian fellowship; it will help you discern what is of the world and what is of God. Also, if you surround yourself with other believers, you won’t be facing constant pressure to conform.

Don’t forget that you are meant to be a light to those who are walking in darkness. Pray for your unbelieving friends. You reveal God’s love and faithfulness to them by the way you live your life. We have been given the miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, and we are called to share the message of this gift with others.

Prayer: God, grant me a spirit of boldness, so I can walk confidently through the world, sharing your Word. Help me be an example of joy and peace. Guard my heart and always make me aware of any misguided thoughts or intentions. In all things, guide my heart and direct my feet.