In Seeing Jesus from the East, Ravi Zacharias and Abdu Murray explain how certain underlying norms of Eastern culture, including the role and purpose of stories and symbols, the power of the “honor and shame” mentality that pervades the East, the meaning and rewards of sacrifice, the role of teachers and prophets within a wisdom-oriented culture, and – my favorite – the use of parables, are all critical to understand if we are to comprehend the full biblical witness about Jesus Christ.
When you and I seek to become godly and spend time in God’s word and worship, he will make us what we strive to be. Our desire to be obedient positions us to be empowered to be obedient. As we work, he works. And he redeems the challenges of our fallen world by using them to draw us to himself in dependent faith.
In a week focused on the consequences of character, it is therefore vital that Christians do what is needed to become the change we wish to see. We cannot control what others do, but we can control our words and actions and the values they reflect. We can use our influence for biblical morality, but only if we are people others are willing to follow.