Podcast Episode 13 - Equally Yoked?


by Johnny Shiu

This week’s episode

Whether it is in personal relationships, marriage, or business, being equally yoked with other Christ followers is highly preferable.  Scripture encourages us, if not commands us in this direction.  In 2 Corinthians 6:14, the Apostle Paul said, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

While this passage is historically viewed Paul’s warning against idolatry (as verses 7-18 seem to support), we believe that this Scripture also instructs us about business relationships when it comes to working with those who may not be Christ followers.

This issue can be very, very important in the life of an entrepreneur, so in this episode Henry, Rusty, and William share their own views and experiences on partnership and doing business with people that don't yet have the same worldview.

--- Show Notes ---

Henry starts off by providing the evolution in his own thinking about the subject matter.  Initially, Henry was focused on hiring or partnering the most qualified and best person for the job regardless of the person’s faith. Over time, he began to see that going through the hills and valleys of business, the person whom you are yoked with is incredibly important.  If the person whom you are joined does not share your convictions, faith, and beliefs there may come a time when the institution/business enterprise may be compromised. 

Rusty observes that it is often very difficult to hire someone who is equally yoked with you.  In high level positions, there may be more opportunity to engage in executive searches and networks to identify those individuals.  As a whole, given the size of the marketplace it may not possible to be yoked with a fellow Christian.  Frequently, one may come into a business headed by non-believers. 

Interestingly, the Apostle Paul addresses this scenario in the context of husband and wife.  In sum, if a husband joins with an unbelieving wife, or vice-versa, Paul warns that you must not divorce. (1 Cor. 7:12-16)  The point is we do not know if the unbelieving spouse would actually be saved through the believing spouse.  Similarly, in business God can work through the believer and sanctify those who may not believe. 

At Snocap, Rusty ended up working with a great person, Mr. Ali Aydar.  While Mr. Aydar’s beliefs were not readily known at the time, Rusty built a relationship with him.  Mr. Aydar now goes to church where Rusty goes; in fact, Rusty teaches Aydar’s kids in Sunday school.  No matter the circumstances God seems to be able to work through it for his glory.  

From William’s perspective, he comes back to his “why.”  He adds that we are guided by God’s word.  We need to use discernment.  William makes sure he shares his why with others in any venture when possible.  In fact, it’s important for your potential business partner to know everything that makes you tick.  It is an opportunity to be authentic. 

To be clear, Henry, Rusty and William all agree that employers in the United States must abide by all employment laws.  And as faith driven entrepreneurs, we arguably may be held to even a higher self-imposed standard.  We are by no means endorsing any type of discrimination in hiring practices. 

As with many issues, we are in the world but not of the world.  As faith driven entrepreneurs, we are in the world but not of the world.  In business, we are confronted with issues that come with a spectrum of possibilities, i.e., gray area. Through thorough and honest vetting, prospective business partners may opt out if they do not share our convictions. Weaving together William’s point about sharing our “why,” and Rusty’s comment on how the hiring process can be a self selection process, prospects have ample opportunity to pursue the business opportunity or to pass. 

In the end, as Christian entrepreneurs we not only abide by the law of the land, but also the word of our God.  In the multiplicity of business scenarios, we can be authentic, faithful, and integrous in our work.