In the previous couple of posts, we looked at Paul’s warning to the Corinthian church about being “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” from II Corinthians 6:14, and what to do if you’re already in a partnership with an unbeliever. These posts started me thinking about whether there was also a lesson to be learned from inverted his warning and following the converse. Is Paul writing here that we should be equally yoked together with believers?
If so, what does that mean? We’ve talked about the yoke that requires both members to move in the same direction, but is that simply alleviated by harnessing two Christians to the same yoke? Aren’t there stronger and weaker Christians? Wouldn’t this cause friction too from the tugging and pulling of the two maturity levels trying to go in two directions? Are we supposed to look for our spiritual twin?
What Does Equally Yoked Together Look Like?
Just what does it look like to be equally yoked together with another believer? Here are some of the characteristics that I’d look for in this shared yoke, but you may have some better ones.
Equally yoked partners share the same faith. This one is pretty obvious after the last few posts, and from Paul’s warning, but I thought I’d be safe and include it. If at the core of your being you are not heading in the same ultimate direction as your partner on the other end of the yoke, then the burden you share cannot be equally distributed.
Equally yoked partners share synergistic visions. Each of us have been uniquely equipped and called to fulfill a vision God has given us. If your vision and your partner’s vision are not similar, or at least work very well together, then you will find it difficult to share the yoke and move it in one direction. Simply yoking two Christians together does not make it equal.
Equally yoked partners share a similar spiritual maturity level. In I Corinthians 3:2, Paul tells the church at Corinth that he has fed them with spiritual milk instead of meat because they could not handle the meat. We’re all like that when we start out as new Christians. Like new-born puppies, we have to be weened off of milk and onto solid food. One would never hook up a puppy with mature dogs to a sled. It’s unfair to expect it to pull its own weight.
Equally yoked partners share in the “sweat equity” together. Most business partnerships I’ve seen have failed because of this one. You have one person who knows the business inside and out partnering with someone who generally is bringing the money into the partnership. These type of partnerships are very difficult to pull off successfully. Resentment, or simply misunderstanding the other person, builds to a point that it tears the partnership apart.
Equally yoked partners share a complimentary set of skills. Partners don’t have to both know the ins and outs of everything in the business. One can be great at managing the back office or sales, while the other one is great at producing whatever product or service they provide. These tend to be the strongest partnerships, as long as, each has a healthy respect for the contribution to the business by the other.
What Does Equally Yoked Together Look Like to You?
There are certainly many more characteristics that an equally yoked partnership must possess. These are just the ones that came to my mind while writing this series. What does it look like to you? What characteristics did I miss?
Have you been in a partnership where you felt equally yoked together? What made it successful? What qualities are essential to you?