life beyond the well…

Culture- and Maintaining a Witness


For my class yesterday, we had to search for and define “culture”, particularly in respect to our fields of study within education, and our background. I defined culture by saying the following:

a set of beliefs, norms, or standards; actions and traditions for a specific group…there are several different types of culture (popular culture, dominant culture) and these might be specific to a certain racial and/or ethnic group, social class, religion, etc; and this culture may be learned and/or socially constructed.

After talking about our definitions of culture, we were broken into small groups of 5 or 6 where we had to talk about our individual culture, in terms of our career. We weren’t given a specific set of questions/topics to cover, but we were told to explain our background and to define our culture.

As I talked about myself, I talked about my race, educational background, and cultural differences that I had experienced from living in Athens and living in North Carolina. This sparked some questions, as people really wanted to understand what the differences were and how they had presented themselves to me. I was comfortable with my answers and my explanation of my own culture until the person after me began to describe her culture, and she included that she was a Christian.

My discomfort was not in the fact that she mentioned that she was a Christian, but more in the fact that I had not mentioned that I was. I most definitely felt convicted in some ways, in that I know that being a Christian is important in my life; however, it wasn’t “important enough” for me to mention it. As I thought further, I realized that I had sold myself short in terms of what the question was asking- that I limited myself, and thus excluded a very important aspect of my life.

I suppose I find this all to be very interesting (and I’m still trying to piece it together, so if this entry seems to be a bit disjointed, that would be why), because I have never considered my faith to be a culture, or to be an aspect of my culture. Surely it is, but I’ve never expanded my thinking to embrace this.

I don’t know what all of this means, but I’d like to see your comments..

“Of what value is the grace that I profess to have received if it does not dramatically change the way I live? If it doesn’t change the way I live, it will never change my eternal destiny.”
~C.H. Spurgeon


Author: erin.almond

God-chaser. NC native, now planted in Jacksonville, FL. Happily married to a handsome church-planting pastor. I am easily excited by Jesus, education, cupcakes, Moleskine notebooks, and Pepsi. Overwhelmed by God's amazing grace, undeserving of His love and mercy.

2 thoughts on “Culture- and Maintaining a Witness

  1. Yeah, I’m kind of surprised that you didn’t mention your faith, because it seems to be a big part of your life. I wouldn’t have been surprised had you forgotten to mention it, because stuff like that happens. I’m more surprised that you evaluated faith and decided that it wasn’t a part of culture.

  2. Well, yeah…I don’t know if it was that I forgot, but I guess that I figured within the context of the question, my faith wasn’t really what I was thinking.

    Tsk…I feel like I’m making excuses. But at the same time, I guess I had never added faith into the cultural equasion. Kind of like it being something so obvious that you miss it. If it had been a snake, it would have bit me…

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