Culture Shock

We need a Culture Shock!

If you want to experience culture shock...

It's not enough to hear about another culture...

It's not enough to learn about another culture...

It's not enough to witness another culture...

It's not enough to meet someone from another culture...

It's not enough to visit another culture...

It's not even enough to live in another culture.

If you want to experience culture shock...

You must be immersed in another culture...

You must adjust your values to another culture...

You must give your mind to another culture...

You must agree with and embrace another culture...

You must live for a prolonged period of time in and among another culture...

You must be rewired to adhere to a completely foreign cultural mindset.

What does culture shock feel like?

It feels exciting.

It feels exhilarating.

It feels lonely.

It feels confusing.

It feels fleeting.

It feels permanent.

If you ever wondered if you could ever change, all you have to do is step across an imaginary border and live among a foreign people, refusing to leave until you're completely new.

My first year in a new culture was totally unexpected. Every thought, idea, and belief was challenged and I got lost in the universe, unable to fit in anywhere. The only belief I had left was in Jesus, but I was slowly losing grasp of even Him.

There were many cultural values and beliefs that I brought with me when I moved abroad. Each of these values and beliefs that didn't fit into my new culture was unaccepted until I had to make a choice. I could change my values and beliefs or continue to live like an Alien in a foreign land.

For example, in my old culture it's acceptable to just eat whatever is served to you, but in my new culture, you have to wait until certain others eat first before you can eat. If you just eat whatever is in front of you, people will murmur about you and give you strange looks, letting you know that your behavior is unacceptable. If you are wise enough to pick up on it, you have an opportunity to change, if you want to.

A lot of people refuse to lose their own cultural heritage and remain like Aliens for years, but others embrace a new culture and live as the local population. For me, I had to really consider which values and beliefs were eternally from God and which were from my own cultural traditions.

Every value and belief that didn't line up with God's Word, and that my new culture didn't except, slowly washed away. The values and beliefs of God's Word were gradually treasured as I sorted out truth from untruth. In this way, I allowed culture shock to test my values and beliefs and rewire me into a new man.

Of course there are some values and beliefs that are not in God's Word but that both my old culture and my new culture accept. To purify myself from these, I need a different kind of culture shock. I need to immerse myself in the heavenly culture and allow the Consuming Fire who is The Lord to rewire me all the way to dividing soul and spirit.

When we devour the Word of God, morning and evening, every day for a prolonged period of time, we are putting ourselves through a type of culture shock. This culture shock forces us to live, breathe, and be immersed in a heavenly culture where the values and beliefs of Holy Scripture are of ultimate concern.

Many themes found in the Bible do not make sense until we allow ourselves to engage in a prolonged culture shock and be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Every value and belief that doesn't line up with Scripture must be washed away. It takes commitment and a continual choosing to push through past merely reading and going to events and into a true culture shock rewiring your entire being.

We will look strange to the world, but we will also carry within ourselves a love beyond what the world has ever seen. We will lay down our lives for each other and always live remembering this is not our home. We were bought with a price and we are not our own. We live for the glory of another. We live as new creations. A new heavenly culture has invaded our minds that will forever change who we are and the world around us.

Press in towards heaven.

Immerse yourself in truth.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Seek a new kind of Culture Shock!

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