What's the Worst You Could Do?

from Shane's Muslim Connect

your secret is safe with us

Is there anything you could do that would cause your family to say, “Yeah, don’t come back here anymore.” It would have to be pretty gruesome, wouldn’t it? Most of our families and friends are relatively tolerant of a wide range of divergent behavior. In anthropologist speak: We live in rather elastic networks. 

Many cultures, though, have a long list of “kick-out-able” offenses and the impact of an individual’s behavior on their family is much heavier. Groupthink tends to carry more weight than personal preference. 

When making decisions, members of such cultures must weigh the potential honor or shame their decision will bring on their family and community. 

If Khadijah pursues an engineering degree, will her mom and her mom’s friends be pleased? 

If Muhammad comes out to his family, will their desire to avoid shame result in his death?

If Yusuf and Fatima share about their newfound devotion to Jesus, will their village listen or force them to move away?

Can you imagine setting the course for your week, or your life, based largely on what it will mean to your family? It’s challenging, isn’t it? But most of our Muslim friends factor that in. 

Thinking about how to reach out to people in honor-shame cultures, Jayson Georges, the founder of HonorShame.com, says the best thing to do is "eat with them! When Jesus wanted to honor people, he ate with them (Lk. 15:1). In honor-shame cultures, the people you eat with define both your community and identity. Table fellowship confers honor."

Ramadan begins next Wednesday, March 22nd. While it is a month of fasting, it also involves a ton of eating. Look for an opportunity to step into the honor-shame world by sharing some food (after dark!) with a Muslim.

Please take a look at the new video that dropped yesterday on the Muslim Connect YouTube Channel: “Divorce, My Greatest Shame.” As the channel gains some traction, I’d appreciate you subscribing and helping get the word out that Jesus loves Muslims.