Do Europeans drive on the wrong side of the road?
It’s a trick question, really, because the answer is no: they do not drive on the wrong side. They drive on the opposite side of the road than we do, but not the wrong side. At least, it isn’t wrong for them. What makes the difference? Our culture is a powerful influencer on us, and if we aren’t careful, it could even skew our interpretation of Scripture.
It is great when people get the chance to travel and visit places they’ve never been. It is emotionally and spiritually healthy. I love to experience different cultures than my own. I love to study other people, and one’s perspective is powerful. Your view or destination can encourage or discourage you.
For example, imagine you are at the grocery store and you’re the last in a line of twenty people. No one likes to wait in line, especially a long one. But would it make a difference if that same line of twenty people were at the entrance to Disney World? Sure it would!
Why do people act a certain way? You’ve probably asked that question before. I believe there are four reasons in general as to why people act differently:
- Geography: Where we are born and raised plays a big role in our behavior.
- Generation: Our age often defines what is “normal” to us. When I was a teenager, it was not “normal” for kids to carry cell-phones, but for my children’s generation, it is the norm.
- Genetics: A person’s particular ethnicity, gender, and health will influence their behavior.
- Genealogy: Our heritage, in some ways, may have the lion’s share of influence over our behavior.
Let’s be careful to avoid judging a person’s actions based on our own culture. Trust God’s Word as our final authority in every matter and represent Him. Let’s live our lives in such a way that our behavior becomes an invitation into the culture of Jesus Christ.