Over the last couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to engage in a conversation that has challenges me on a number of levels.
The conversation has been about the dynamics of being a Black male in a all white (pre-dominantly so anyway) institution. Now this may have been where things started but we are far from that in some respects. This conversation is taking place between two people who have accepted Christ as their personal Savior. Therefore we understand that God calls us as believers to live differently than the world which means living as a counter-culture.
However what about the culture that has been embedded into us before we knew God? The culture we have grown up in. This is where things get interesting. I have had to do a lot of reflection on my own thoughts and feelings realizing that at time they may be prejudices that I carry around without noticing. This dialog truly has me thinking through various aspects of my identity, cultural perspective and seeing ways in which I have preferred to live in light of my culture rather than in light of God’s truth.
Many times I do this without even noticing because it’s just who I am… or is it? My identity, our identity needs to come from God. We are image bearers. By this I mean, since we were created in His image then we resemble His awesomeness. That needs to be what I connect with rather than a culture that is defining itself in terms of what it perceives being truth.
NOW I am not saying that we should forsake our culture or backgrounds. I am NOT saying that culture is irrelevant and therefore should be done away with. In fact I believe we should celebrate each other and our diverse uniqueness. However what are some things that maybe you do or think that you have been taught by your culture? Do you truly embrace those idea’s as truth? Are you functioning a certain way because that’s what you have been taught? Sometimes I believe we operate as a product of our culture without truly understand our identity/role within it.
One of my goals for after I finish my Masters is to further explore issues like this, because so many times we are divided as a people, and we don’t even fully understand or have the conversation as to who we really are.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both(Jews & Gentiles) one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility