Culture is defined as the ideas, customs, beliefs, and way of life of a society of people living in a particular time and place. By that definition, it is easy to see that there is so much more to life than the culture in which we live.
When the Holy Spirit comes, He causes the human heart, mind, and all that is within to rise above the culture. Suddenly the eyes of the heart are enlightened, and in that place, there is joy and freedom. Why? Because there is such a thing as being held captive to what the culture says you should be thinking and doing.
In this blog post, I want to share with you 5 reasons you should not let your culture influence your thinking. It is no accident that you and I are living in this time and place in history. This is exactly God’s plan for us. We were placed here by Him for just such a time as this.
But even though we are living within our culture, that doesn’t mean we should be letting our culture influence our thinking or tell us what to do.
5 Reasons You Should Not Let Culture Influence Your Thinking
1. Cultures come and go.
If you study the history of the world, it is obvious that no one culture has stood the test of time. You really need look no further than 20th century America to see it. Notice how many times the American culture changed throughout the 20th century alone. The 1930s did not look anything like the 1980s. The culture of the 1950s was distinctly different from the 1990s.
And what about today’s culture in 2017? The human tendency is to think that we have arrived, that we have it all figured out, and that we are now more sophisticated than all past cultures. The tendency is to think this culture is here to stay. But history tells us otherwise.
2. This culture too is passing away.
We must not be deceived. This culture is not here to stay either. Who knows what life in America will look like in 2050 or 2075? Who knows what this society will be like for our grandchildren and great grandchildren? So don’t set your heart on the current culture. Don’t let it shape your beliefs or the beliefs of your children.
3. A culture can take you captive through its man-made mindsets, philosophies, and trends.
This is clearly expressed in Scripture. Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
The scary thing is that if we’re not careful, we don’t even realize this is happening. After all, that’s what deception is. The philosophies of culture can steal our freedom. The freedom of the mind and the heart.
4. Culture is not solid ground.
We have an invitation in God’s Word to stand on solid ground. But trying to stand on the ground of culture is like trying to stand on sinking sand. It will not last, and we will be left empty.
5. Because there is something infinitely better than the culture that is available to influence your thinking.
It is plain and simply this: truth. But why should you bother paying attention to it?
Because truth is solid ground and a firm foundation. It never passes away. It is a treasure that remains throughout changing cultures. Truth remains true for all eternity.
Where can truth be found?
It is found in God’s Word.
But if God’s Word remains closed on the shelf, then we are not going to know the difference between what is cultural and what is true, what is passing away and what will remain.
We must approach this with humility. Beware of thinking we are immune to it. We are all susceptible to deception. The enemy of our souls wants us to think we don’t need God’s Word. Or that it’s for Sundays only. The enemy wants us to say, “Oh I’m fine without it during the week, thank you very much.”
But if we ignore God’s Word during the week, we are missing out on the abundant life! There is so much more peace and joy available to us every day, but we are actually leaving these treasures on the shelf, and seeking for them in other places.
In order to know the truth and allow it to shape our thinking, we must feed on truth from God’s Word daily. Because let’s face it, the culture is certainly feeding us, and not just once a day. It feeds us continually.
In fact, culture often feeds us in a very “in your face” way. It is influencing our thinking even when we don’t realize it.
But if we are consistently feeding on God’s Word, we will be better able to discern the difference between culture and truth. The belt of truth will arm us.
The truth of God’s Word will equip you to face the culture and not allow it to influence your thinking. After all, the culture is passing away like sinking sand. Confidently stand firm on the solid ground of truth.
Praise God for His eternal truth and that He has made it available to us!
Go feast on it!
YOUR TURN: Do you ever struggle with the cultural influences on you and your family? Share with us in the comments!