In our spiritual lives, too many times, we underestimate the severity of a problem or our associations and relationships with those outside the faith. Too often these relationships, and in many cases the attendant sin, become gray areas in our lives – there’s no black and white. We want to push the boundaries in the name of freedom, rationality, or cultural appeal.
In Deuteronomy 7:1–8:20, Moses was uninterested in pushing boundaries. He even told the Israelites to stay away from foreigners who worshiped other gods because they would corrupt the worship of the Lord (Deut 7:3–4). Paul makes a similar point in 2 Cor 6:14: “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers, for what participation is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?” Paul’s statement is part of a larger discussion on why the world is as black and white as God makes it out to be. In 2 Corinthians 2:15, Paul writes, “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
Christians are meant to be a good smell to the world of God’s work and goodness. It’s impossible for them to do this if they are not living in his light. Corruption infects everyone affiliated with it. We are meant to bring the light into the darkness, not become part of the darkness. Interacting with culture and those who don’t believe is not the same as becoming one with culture and those who don’t believe.
The difference between Christians and those in the world is that we seek Christ as our standard of living. We have truly come out from among them. Be in the world but not of it!