- · Americans prize individualism while Middle Eastern cultures are built on collectivism.
- · Americans value self-worth, personal accomplishments along with personal pride in these two things but collectivist cultures pay close attention to how individual actions affect the family or group as a whole.
- · Americans live a life of being prideful or ashamed. Collectivist cultures live by the code of honor and shame.
- · Will this action or decision bring honor to my family or group?
- · Will this action or decision bring shame upon my family or group?
He gave up his family and his people.
In a collectivist culture it is seen as a great danger and sadness for anyone to go anywhere alone. They always travel in groups and at the very least a group of two people. So the fact that we see this son traveling alone in this parable would have evoked great sadness in the Jewish audience as it should in us as well.
The son had been forever changed by his experience. He had gained a new understanding of the family, of his father, of honor.
This son was hungry, tired, and knew all too well that he was alone
All he had left was hope and just enough faith to take each step.
How often when we are unsure of the outcome of a situation do we rehearse our lines in hopes of being understood? In hopes of being accepted?
the steps that took him away from home and caused him to lose everything.
Am I taking the right path? Is this the way home I cannot remember for sure? Will my Father accept me? Do I remember Him correctly? Will I make it there safely or will I get lost and hurt along the way?
What a beautifully enjoyable walk that would be!