Don’t Export Yourself: Don’t Be Superficial in the Other Culture, or anywhere.
I have made it my business to advise businesspeople what to do, beyond the cultural surfaces of bowing or shaking hands, as they embed themselves in communities where the gospel needs a hearing.
(These are well-intention people much like me, perhaps too much like me.)
We export ourselves. We may do that by expecting Other-culture workplaces, marketing, managing, etc. to function in ways that make sense in our Home culture. We may do that by expecting Others to hear the gospel in our terms.
In Other cultures I have misrepresented what I wanted to represent because I defaulted to the grids and filters of my comforts, my Home culture and my flesh. (Heck, I do this with friends and family, so why not There?) And too, I have seen realities and understood only partially because of my self-reliance.
It was not all for naught, but I repent of my presumptions.
Jesus says not to “work for the food that spoils but for the food that endures.” The work we do and a day’s labor that we share with Others are more than moments, more than products that spoil – they are signs that needs to be understood by us and Others.
The world needs me and you to see clearly, to be skilled and wise beyond our defaults, and to rightly interpret the divine wisdom that undergirds the visible.
This is the mission.
The Son of Man is the food that endures.