Few months back one of my besties Melina requested I do a post on the association between believers and non believers. This has been an area where a lot of questions is usually asked in the body of Christ. I have asked this question many times myself especially with the collaborations going on as mostly shown in the music world. Can we associate with unbelievers? Can we go into business partnership with them? Can they become our best friends? Can we go into collaborations with them? Where do we draw the line? In order to talk about this, I will be referring to a few bible scriptures as I trust the Holy Spirit to lead me.
The first scripture that came to my mind was 2 Corinthians 6:14-16.
“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 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.”
In the above scriptures, Paul clearly is saying no and his reason is because we are the temple of God. Also there is a tendency that this kind of relationship might weaken our integrity, commitment and standards. It can also ruin our witness. In verse 17, he tells us to come out from amongst unbelievers and be separate unto God.
However if we go few pages back, in 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, it says, “When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.”
Paul tells us that it’s almost impossible to only be around Christians so long we are in this world. This means, at some point in our lives, we will have to deal with working with unbelieving employers, business partners and associates etc. And besides we really can’t impact the world if we always isolate ourselves.
In 1 Corinthians 10:27, Paul is advising us on how to behave when an unbeliever invites us for dinner. “If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience.”
With the first scripture in mind, you would have thought his answer to this invite would be a no. However he tells us to go and he goes further to say we shouldn’t even question how the food came about. Is the bible confusing? No.
What I understand personally is that there is a fine line here that we need to be careful not to cross. As per the questions I raised in my introductory paragraph, I can’t say yes or no. I believe it varies from case to case. When it comes to business relationships and partnerships with unbelievers, a lot of things comes to mind. Before signing the dotted lines, a lot has to be considered. I would ask myself the following questions.
- Will I have to compromise my faith in any way?
- Do I have to adjust a lot to their ways
- Do we share common values even if he is a non Christian?
- How closely are we going to be working together?
- What kind of clients will we be attracting?
- Will I loose myself in the process?
- Will my testimony be dented?
- Will God take the glory?
- Will God be happy with this move?
With the above, it will become clearer if I should go ahead or not.
Many times, people get into a relationship to change the person, and they end up loosing themselves in the process. A little compromise here and there, before you know it, the fire and zeal you had before is gone. Lukewarmness kicks in. “God understands” becomes your comfort line. At this point, the story is very sad because you have become a different person. We should avoid putting ourselves intentionally in situations where we have to compromise our faith.
In another scenario, it would be stupid for me to ask in a job interview if my CEO and every member of staff are Christians as that might not be easy to come by. The relationship shared between employees generally isn’t as close as the type that will be shared between two business partners.
To sum this whole rambling up, where possible, it is safer not to establish closely knitted relationships with people outside your fold. We should have a kind of relationship with them because this is the best way to win them. But in my opinion, they shouldn’t be our “best friends”. There might be few exemptions to this but generally speaking it is safer not to. If all your closest friends and associates are non believers, who is sharpening you? Before you know it, you go blunt. Iron the bible says sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). I know Jesus Christ is our best friend and He is all we need. But the reality is that most times we say words like these, they come from either a place of pride or from a place of hurt because of how people have failed us in the past.
We all need people. We were created and knitted this way. Jesus Christ didn’t go about His life alone. He had people around Him. If everyone around us is taking from us, within a matter of time, we will get drained. Who is filling you in your circle? Is there anyone around you who can pray, encourage and uplift you? If not, I’m afraid that isn’t a good one. Jesus Christ wasn’t always around unbelievers. He had a relationship with them, but they weren’t in His inner circle. He didn’t go into ministry with them. He mostly hung around believers and the times He was with unbelievers, the goal was salvation and that was achieved.
You become a reflection of what you give your quality time to.
All in all, it’s very important to remember that evil communication corrupts good manners. Never think that you are strong and safe enough. He that thinketh he stands, take heed lest he falls (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Shoutout to Melina my bestie who is one of those who sharpens me. Thanks for requesting this post Sis. I tried to do justice to it as much as I could and I hope you like it😊
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Blessings to you all❤️