I-GIG Section E - Approaching Cultural Differences

There are several cultural differences to navigate while discussing the Bible studies in this book. You are likely reading this in a culture different than your own. Other Bible study participants bring their cultures with them. And the cultures of the Bible authors 2000+ years ago, which provide context to their writing, are most likely different than yours. These differences include unspoken norms and expectations you may not even realize that you have.

Your approach to these differences can help you learn and grow from them instead of causing additional frustrations and hurt relationships. The diagram below shows two paths that start on the left side and move to the right. The top option (green arrows) is good; the lower one (red arrows) is not good.

The big starburst in the center shows that some negative feelings will always happen when crossing cultures. However, if you respond to these negative feelings by observing and listening well, asking questions, and not making assumptions about others’ intentions, you will learn more, understand others better, and have better cross-cultural friendships.   

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