Faith

Becoming Cultured

I am currently taking a class called “Organizational Dynamics”, and this week one of the chapters we were assigned to read was about company and office culture. While reading this chapter, I started thinking  about culture in general. My textbook defined organizational culture as, “a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs that… show what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior.” According to this definition, culture helps us to define what behaviors are acceptable and expected and which behaviors are unacceptable.
We are a part of the culture of our offices, schools, and families. On the large scale, we are a part of the culture of the country we live in.  If you are a Christian you are also a part of another culture that should supersede all other cultures. According to Ephesians 2:19, believers are “citizens with God’s people, and members of God’s household.” As citizens and members of His household, we need to live according to His Kingdom’s culture.
There are many places in the Bible that show us what this culture is supposed to look like. One of my favorite passages is Romans 12:9-13, which says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
In this passage, we see that we need to genuinely love people–we can’t just pretend to love them  or try to act like we like them. We need to put other people first, and we need to be generous and hospitable. We also see that spiritual laziness is not an option; instead we need to be spiritually zealous and fervent.  These are things that give our fleshly nature culture shock, and so we have to allow God to work in us and to shape us, mold us, and refine us. 
Are we living according to the culture of God’s Kingdom? Is God’s love evident in us? Are we humble, generous, and hospitable? Have we become cultured or are we still experiencing culture shock? Which are we able to identify with the most, the culture of our country or work place or the culture of the Kingdom? Which culture do our attitudes, actions, and behaviors most often reflect?
Photo by Lindley Ashline

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