As a child, the expression ‘all that glitters isn’t gold’ was a reminder that everything that looks good isn’t always as it appears. Many of us have purchased jewelry that to the eye appeared to be of value but it was only a shiny bauble, a piece of bright but cheap, glass jewelry. Shiny baubles can also be Christmas ornaments, something that we use only once a year. These items do not last. Yet we are not only attracted to things that glitter and shine for special events, but there is a desire to go after things that are often meaningless.
It’s so easy to be attracted to things that look good on the outside. But we often do not take the time to discover more. I think about this even in relationships. Up-and-coming artists and athletes are often bombarded with attention, especially from those with harmful intentions. These ‘newly arrived’ friends and love interests would have never given many of these celebrities the time of day before they became famous. But because of the opportunities, notoriety, and money, they suddenly have an entourage who will leave as soon as those things disappear.
When there is nothing left to benefit from, those starstruck individuals will be ‘on to the next one.’ The Bible reminds us about the importance of being ‘equally yoked’ in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. A yoke is a wooden beam sometimes used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs. If they are not working together, one will put against the other—and they will not complete the task. When they are yoked together, they will pull together. Animals that were yoked were the same.
You would not see a donkey yoked with an ox because of the differences in height and strength. A young man asked me recently about advertising for clients. I shared that I’ve been blessed because my clients typically are from word of mouth. It’s important to me that my spirit connects to the client and the work. Otherwise, I will not be effective. I’ve realized over the years that all money is not good money. I’ve had clients in the past who have drained me, and the cost was much more than what I was being paid.
Being equally yoked is not just about intimate relationships. We must be concerned about the people we conduct business with and allow in our sanctuary spaces. Without similar values and vision, it can result in moving in a direction that can be detrimental. The story of Samson and Delilah in Judges 13-16 is an example of what happens when we are not connected to the right people. Samson from birth was to be set apart. He had a mission from God. His parents made sure he kept the vows given to him by the angel of God. But as he grew up, Samson decided to do things differently than what he was taught.
Samson’s parents questioned his relationship with his first wife, and she ultimately betrayed him. “But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me. She’s the right one for me,’” Judges 14:3. Samson was focused on what he wanted at the moment and failed to think about the long-term consequences of this relationship. Ultimately, she was afraid of those in her community because of their demands to know the answer to Samson’s riddle. Upon the demise of this relationship, Samson continued to pursue women that were not in alignment with the plan for his life as a judge.
Samson’s desire for women became his downfall. This continued, which cost him his life because of his lust interest—Delilah. It’s easy to look down on Samson. Yet, we all have allowed our desires to take control instead of seeking God first for wisdom. We want what we want. We choose partners based solely on looks or status instead of character and commitment. How can we make sure our desires are God’s desires for our lives? Everything that looks and sounds good can turn out to be a façade. When we only focus on what’s on the outside, it will damage us even more on the inside.
(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the vice president of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit <drfroswa.com>.)