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Less of Me

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    They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
    Acts 2:42

    This is an example of the first international church. These early believers had gathered in Jerusalem from Parthia, Medes and Elam, from Mesopotamia, Judea, Capadocia, Pontus and Asia, from Phyrgia, Pamphylia, Egypt and Libya, as well as Crete, Arabia and Rome. Upon hearing Peter’s message they believed, were baptised and started to fellowship. Talk about operating cross-culturally?!

    I was amused the other day to hear my daughter declare loudly, “If you want to play with us, you have to do it our way.” It occurred to me just how often we adopt this approach in life. Living overseas we are forced out of our comfort zones, we are forced to compromise, to understand the background and points of view of others.

    Usually, we are being called to work interculturally. Rosemary Dewerse, in Breaking Calabashes, gives a great definition of interculturalism, it is to ‘value diversity and creatively affirm context, multiple perspectives, and authentic participation. Moreover, “it speaks of living in the intersection” between cultures and between the spheres of individual experience, cultural context, and universal realities.’

    To make that kind of living work, we need to let go of the concept of ‘doing it our way’. We need to lay aside our preconceived ideas, our expectations and, in fact, our very selves. Philippians 2 calls us to emulate Christ, who:

    ‘made himself nothing

    by taking the very nature of a servant,

    being made in human likeness.’

    This way of life is countercultural, making less of ourselves when those in the world around us are seeking to make more of themselves, to elevate themselves, to make their mark. A friend taught me a godly breathing technique. When we exhale, we say, ‘Less of me’, when we inhale, we say, ‘More of you.’ This should be our daily rhythm.

    God thank you that in living interculturally I get to see that my way is not the only way and that I am not the centre of the universe. Help me to daily lay aside myself to make more room for you in my life. Amen

    Written by a member of our community serving in the Arab World

    Thank you for commiting to praying

    Your prayers make a difference! Thank you for praying to see transformation in the lives and communities of Asia & the Arab World.

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