Let’s say you have a pair of handcuffs and you have to handcuff yourself to somebody. It can be anyone you want…. Who would you choose?
Would you choose someone with a foul mouth or someone who encourages everyone they meet? Would you choose a gossip or someone who always has a nice word to say? Would you choose a couch potato or a marathon runner? The choice is completely up to you…. Who would you choose?
Chances are whomever you chose would end up influencing your behavior. If you were handcuffed to someone who gossiped, you would probably tend to gossip more yourself. If, instead, you chose someone who encourages everyone they meet, you would most likely encourage others more. Knowing this, you would probably be very careful about whom you chose.
In today’s reading, Paul tells us as believers to avoid being yoked together with unbelievers because it makes no sense to do so. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Like with the handcuffs, we have a choice to make when it comes to being yoked together with someone. Like with the handcuffs, the choice we make will most likely influence our own behavior. Like with the handcuffs, we must be very careful about whom we choose. As believers, wickedness and darkness ought to never be considered viable options.
Now, some may take this to mean that we should only associate ourselves with "good" people and many in the church do exactly that. But we have been told we are to go out into the world, not hide from it. As we do that, we ought to make sure we have "yoke" relationships in place that will help us encourage each other and hold ourselves accountable to each other and to God.
It is these relationships that must be carefully thought out. It is in these relationships that we want our behavior influenced. It is these relationships where we must make a choice. Do you have a relationship like that? If not, who do you choose?