02. January 2015 · Comments Off on BEING ABLE TO ACCEPT CULTURAL DIFFERENCES · Categories: Change, Choices, Culture, God's Plan, Humility, Jesus Christ, Relationship

And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability… everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers (Act 2:4-6 NLT).

One of my former lecturers who taught us ‘Context and Missions’ once told of a time he went to France for a seminar. Being British, you can imagine how upset he was when rather than quickly make their way to their seat with as little interruption as possible, someone that came very late went around greeting and shaking everybody. My lecturer was furious because to a British man, that was seen as very disrespectful; as if it’s not bad enough that you came late. However, he later found out that the French would have found it very disrespectful if after coming late, one just ignored everyone and went to seat down. What cultural difference?

Where am I going with this? Who defines whose culture takes precedence? Recently, I’ve been learning counselling and one of the first things they teach you how to do is to listen. What this means is that regardless of how many million words someone throws at you, you are able to capture and play back the key words that keep coming up. It happened that recently, someone was led to contact me and they sure know how to do talk. However, one of the things I kept hearing was that “I’m different” which was visually obvious but for them to keep saying it meant they were definitely struggling to be heard and accepted which apparently is something they’ve struggled with all their lives.

After our time was up, I told them we can continue next time but they were really surprised. “You mean you still want to talk to me?” “Off course, I still want to talk to you”.

I was left thinking how dare anyone make someone feel so rejected. Unfortunately, this is something we unconsciously do to people. We impose and expect people to be like us and when they don’t, we criticise or alienate them. However, as spirit-filled believers, if there’s one thing the Holy Spirit should enable us do is speak other people’s languages (and I don’t mean literally).

Also, the Bible says… we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses… (Hebrew 4:15 AMP). The reason Jesus is able to understand us is because… though He was God… He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being (Philippians 2:6-7 NLT).

Jesus humbly became like us to understand us. You need the same humility to understand others… Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had (Philippians 2:4-5 NLT)

It’s called being kingdom-minded.

God bless you
Join me on Facebook  Meeting by the well   Want to know more about Jesus?

Share Button
12. March 2014 · Comments Off on BREAKING DOWN THE BARRIERS THAT PREVENTS PEOPLE FROM ENCOUNTERING CHRIST · Categories: Culture, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Thoughts, Uncategorized

I was having an interesting conversation with a young lady cut up between two cultures and was finding certain traditions difficult to comprehend. But where have we seen this before?

The Samaritan woman said to Jesus… “You are a JEW and I am a SAMARITAN WOMAN. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans) (John 4:9 NIV)

Jesus was trying to reach out to this woman but influenced by her culture, she presented a number of arguments which Jesus had to break. By breaking the rule to speak to a woman whom He then used to reach out to her community whom the Jews did not associate with, Jesus made a countercultural move which gave room for an unlikely conversation that involved unconditional love, humility and respect, which led to openness, letting all guards down and ultimately, belief in Him.

Jesus established that gender, tradition, race and culture should never be a barrier to encountering Him. How did Jesus do it? He focused on her need… Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10 NIV) No debates or arguments. Rather, He created a desire in her… I have the solution to your problem… do you want to be free?

Another barrier Jesus had to break… the worst of them all was human reasoning… INTELLECT… “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? (John 4:11 NIV). This is when we think we have to understand everything. Things have to make sense before we can accept it but again, Jesus didn’t argue but simply pointed out the limitations of what she was placing her hopes on… Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again (John 4:13 NIV)

Preaching on ‘Face to Face Divine Encounters’, one preacher advises that when talking about Christ to people, we should stay focused on their spiritual needs. He points out that Jesus was never drawn into an argument with this woman although the enemy (not the woman) tried several arguments which are unprofitable and useless (Titus 3:9); a trap to be avoided because the devil is only using such arguments to create a distraction.

And then her final argument… this is how we worship God in our culture… but you people do it differently. However, Christ, the transformer of culture breaks this barrier by showing her that it’s not about a place of worship but about true relationship with Himself… true worship… and not mere religion (John 4:20-23). Once you find that, it really doesn’t matter what happens in churches. You’re able to look beyond people and focus on Him.

Let’s not forget that we’re constantly in a spiritual battle and… the Bible says… We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NLT).

God bless you
Join me on Facebook  Meeting by the well   Want to know more about Jesus?

Share Button