Do you ride camels there?
I pause. And groan inwardly. These people – they have no idea.
No. We don’t ride camels. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in my country.
No kidding. I live in a huge city. The poor camels would continuously be run over by cars and hit by motorcycles.
I’ve heard it said that Third Culture Kids are some of the most accepting people in the world.
With all the exposure we’ve had to different cultures, ways of thinking, and kinds of suffering, you’d think that’d be true.
But are we, really?
Many Third Culture Kids have extreme feelings about their passport culture. They could go on and on about how wrong people are, how close-minded they are. Now, some of that is valid. There are definite faults or problematic aspects that TCKs can realize about cultures, and especially cultures of passport countries, that most people can’t see. But the fact that TCKs can see them doesn’t make TCKs inviting or open-minded. Most often, Third Culture Kids really struggle with being kind to their passport culture, with finding the good in it.
And when we belong to a God who has called us to love our enemies, that’s not ok.
Whether enemy or not, the people from our passport culture are just that – people. Created to mirror God’s glory.
‘And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
You must be perfect.
That’s hard. It doesn’t mean we will be perfect – it means we should strive to be perfect.
Because as believers, if we hate or pridefully shame ignorant people with a more “closed” worldview, we are no different from unbelievers.
Love When It’s Hard
TCK, your insight and your experiences are valid. Your passport country does need your perspective. But as followers of the one who counted his equality with God as nothing and who became a servant, we should be nothing less than that: servants.
We should use the experiences God has given us to kindly and humbly help others think differently.
We should be humble enough to recognize that we can learn from those who haven’t traveled or interacted with as many cultures as we have.
Everyone has a story. Everyone is going through trials.
Jesus loved the least of these.
Will we think we are better? Or will we follow our humble Savior?
TCK, what things do you complain about when interacting with people? What pride might you be holding onto in your life? Bring it to the Lord.