Thursday, May 7, 2009

1 Corinthians 13: A Guide to Culture

If I wear the national dress and understand the culture and all forms of etiquette, and if I copy all mannerisms so that I could pass for a national, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor, and if I spend my energy without reserve, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love endures long hours of language study, and is kind to those who mock his accent; love does not envy those who stayed home; love does not exalt his home culture and is not puffed up with national superiority.

Does not boast about the way we did it back home, does not seek his own way, is not easily provoked into telling about the beauty of his home country, does not think evil about the current culture.

Love bears all criticisms about his home culture, believes good things about his new culture, confidently anticipating being at home in this place and endures all inconveniences.

But we know only part of the culture and we minister to only a part.

But when Christ is reproduced in this culture, then our inadequacies will be insignificant.

When I was in America, I spoke as an American, I understood as an American, I thought as an American; but when I left America I put away American things.

Now we adapt to this culture awkwardly; but He will live in it intimately; now I speak with a strange accent, but He will speak to the heart.  

Now these three things remain - cultural adaptation, language study and love.

But the greatest of these is LOVE. 


Brandee said...

Wonderful post. I love the family photo below as well. I hope that you guys will have an internet connection in Africa. I would love to be able to follow along!

Anonymous said...

Wow!! That's awesome!! Gonna read it in SS class!

The Byrd's Nest said...

This is great Robyn! Did you write this? I may have to steal it! LOL

Thanks for letting me play with your babies yesterday.....Levi was so sweet.