When Culture Clashes

” Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. “

Romans 12:2

As I journey in life and listen to people all over the world, I found out there are similarities and diversity in cultures. There is a beauty in that diversity! A company that I partner with in business said over four years, I have interacted with men and women from 67 nations of the world and I was like wow! And that also meant I have the privilege of exposure to diverse cultures. The truth is the beauty of the world lies in the diversity of the people in it. Coincidentally I was at a Nigerian traditional wedding yesterday where there was an interplay of intertribal culture. I learned some lessons from what happened. We must take time to understand other people’s culture in order to better relate to them. There is strength in differences and not in similarities but what do you do when the difference runs contrary to your own set of beliefs?

CULTURE we already know is a way of life, lifestyle, customs, traditions, heritage, habits, and values of a social group – nation, people, or organization. Every particular people and place who may have been together over time will have their set of rules which you may have to adhere to, sometimes formal or informal. Sometimes it becomes a habit you take on overtime without any conscious effort. Nowadays, when you join a Facegroup page, the administrators will welcome you with instruction for you to read; the group set of rules to know, their do’s and don’ts.

Back to places and people with their norms and traditions sometimes unwritten bad habits of doing things that have become ” Our culture here” It may be getting late to work or meetings and stealing from the organization. Gossip in some cases and pulling others down to look good and gain ascendancy. That place could also be a Church. Hmn Hmn! So, What do you do? Be determined to be different. You don’t have to conform, just like the opening scripture says.

Always choose to stand out whenever it is necessary and needful.

Sometimes it is more complicated, especially when it comes to clash of culture like in the inter-racial/tribal marriage. Or when the society view on a matter that concerns you differs from what the Word of God says. Respect other people’s culture and prayerfully make your stand known. You don’t have to disrespect other people’s culture. There is power in diversities. When you cannot reach an agreement. you can decide to do what the Word says. What does the WORD say about the matter?

Like Daniel and his team always remember you are different, you are special. (Daniel 1) Listen!

” But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. “

Daniel 1:8

What was the result of Daniel’s action?

  • He had favor from the supervisor
  • He and his team became powerful influencers in that nation
  • He and his team were promoted above their peers

If culture according to Walter Lippmann is the “name for what people are interested in, their thoughts their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear.” The question is what is influencing your culture or what culture are you influencing?

Live and make decisions  by the BOOK. 

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. “

Matthew 5:14-16
Be who God says you are everywhere and at every time. Do not be influenced negatively by any culture. You're an ambassador and a brand representative. Represent well!

Damola Treasure Okenla

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