What do we assume when we travel to another country? Do we think that the people of another culture should be more like us to be acceptable. Do we think, “too bad” you just don’t know what we know”? What if, instead, we chose the attitude of brilliance?
A wise person once told me as a new leader, to always walk into a room and assume brilliance by all those you are about to work with, build a relationship with and dream for a better world. He even had t-shirts designed that said, “Assume Brilliance”. Yes, I bought one, and wore it often. I attempted to pass on this attitude in every work God sent me to do, in and out of the church walls. Beware: This attitude is counter-culture. This attitude of assuming brilliance is in direct opposition to arrogance.
God has opened to door to ALL nations with the news of the saving grace of His Son, Jesus Christ. ALL nations, even those who are not Jews…the gentiles. The uncircumcised gentiles. A Gentile is any person who is not a Jew. The new church now has a problem, a little “bump” in the road, as cultures collide. Do these new gentile Christians need to accept and follow Jewish customs? The leaders meet, talk to each other and LISTEN to what God has done among them. The Holy Spirit works in them and through them to come up with a resolution! Here is the result:
“It seemed to the Holy Spirit and to us that you should not be saddled with any crushing burden, but be responsible only for these bare necessities; Be careful not to get involved in activities connected with idols; avoid serving food offensive to Jewish Christians (blood, for instance); and guard the morality of sex and marriage.”
“These guidelines are sufficient to keep relations congenial between us. And God be with you!” Acts 15, The Messsage
What do we learn?
Wow, they talked TO each other instead of ABOUT each other and solved this issue that divided their cultures.
Reflect: Are there times in my life when I thought less of people of another culture simply because they did things differently?Read the whole story in Acts 15 to get the flavor of the whole passage that teaches us how to work out our own bumps in the road when cultures collide. Assume brilliance!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this lesson. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit that convicts, comforts, takes away fear of unknowns and then roots out all that is “unclean” and resolves our own issues from the inside out. In Jesus Name and By His Power working in us, Amen