No one is above the influence of their culture. Even Samuel, the great prophet of God was not above the influence of his surroundings.
Samuel Not Above the Culture
1 Samuel 16 tells of Samuel’s journey to anoint the next king over Israel. After traveling to Bethlehem, escaping the suspicion of Saul, and convincing the elders he came in peace, Samuel calls the elders and Jesse’s family together for a sacrifice.
After they gathered, Samuel noticed Jesse’s son Eliab. He was tall and his appearance was pleasing. He stood out from the rest. Samuel thought he was God’s next king. He was not, however, the one the Lord would anoint as king. Sure, he looked the part, but his heart was not right. He was not a man after God’s own heart; that would be his brother David.
Samuel’s thoughts and the Lord’s declaration tells us something important. No man is above their culture’s influence. When Saul was installed as king, Israel praised and exalted him because he looked the part. He looked like all the surrounding kings. Samuel’s thought shows culture rubbed off on him; it influenced him.
Understand Culture’s Influence
If we are honest with ourselves, we are all influenced by our culture and traditions in one way or another. Knowing that anyone can be influenced by their culture, we must ask ourselves:
- How does our culture influence us?
- How does our traditions sway our thinking and decisions?
- How does God’s Word tell us we should act?
It is important we ask ourselves all these questions when approaching a decisions, especially the last question because God’s Word should be our guide in everything we do.
Question for Reflection
- How have you noticed your culture influencing you?
- How do you deal with its influence?