What does it mean to be a partner with someone? A dictionary definition goes like this.
“A partner is a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits.”
In our reading today, Paul calls upon believers to not become partners with people who do all the kinds of things that he had just been warning them about (v.7). What does it mean to be a partner with someone who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or a crude joker or filthy talker. Now Paul is talking about all evil living here, but the things mentioned in the last sentence are the things Paul had just been talking about in verses 3-6. So, no partnering with people who are living like this.
But what does that mean? Can we be friends with them? Can we hang around them? What if they are members of our own family? What does it mean to “partner” with these people. Am I cooperating with them in ways that help them do these evil things? Am I participating in these kinds of deeds with them? God wants us to reach out to the lost with the Gospel, so we need to be connected with them in some way? And yet, we are not to partner with them. Very tricky.
As you go about your day today, think about the people that you rub shoulders with. How can you be connected to them, and yet not be partners with them in the unholy living that goes on the world everyday? Ask the Spirit to guide you to find the appropriate balance.