“And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16 NIV)
The case presented by Paul as to why we should be careful about the connections we make or the unions we establish is pretty clear. He makes a strong case as to why Believers and Unbelievers won’t make a solid union. This one verse–could not possibly say it all, so I encourage everyone to read the entire chapter for clarity.
Paul cautions us to not establish unions between good and evil, light and darkness, idolaters and Believers. While some have in the past attempted to make a case for segregation of races because of skin color or ethnicity, this is not what he’s saying. He’s warning us about intimate involvement when those who don’t know God or establish policies that are in opposition to God’s Word. By intimate involvement, I mean close ties or relationships with those of dissimilar beliefs. This is not a reference to sexual relationships of any kind.
Why do we need to be wary about those with whom we associate and have close ties? The old adage, “birds of a feather flock together,” comes to mind. We develop bad habits faster than we develop good habits and when we’re around people who have “bad habits” we tend to emulate them rather than them emulating us. Why? Some people will do whatever they have to do to “get along” with others, not having the backbone to stand firm on what they know is right.
This is how gangs operate in neighborhoods and schools. It is our politicians function–they say anything to get a vote, but then do whatever is popular with their cohorts, not willing to cause waves, even when decisions are made that are contrary to their beliefs. This is how the insecure function in our society–they simply go along to get along in order not to be alone. This is how abusers keep their victims under control, but if the victims understood their own worth, they would not have been involved with the one who abused.
Anyone who uses intimidation to control or manipulate others is a tool of evil. There is no light in them, so why would anyone walking in the light and love of God have a relationship with them? They shouldn’t. When we, who are walking in the light and love of God, walk into a situation, evil should run and hide like roaches when a light switch is turned on to dispel the darkness.
Remember, manipulation is what Satan does, not God. Deception is what Satan uses to convince, not God. Destruction–tearing down is what Satan does, while construction–building up is what God does. And there is no union possible with the works of Satan and the works of God.
So, why we would even attempt to be in any type of union with the unbelieving? We shouldn’t, for God has said every man’s work will be tried by fire and only those works that are firmly established in Him and by Him, shall withstand the heat. We want to avoid the stain of evil that spreads like wildfire when we unite with it.
Not every one we meet is good for us, nor do they have our best interest at heart, so move cautiously in determining who will be close enough to persuade or influence who you are and not who they are.