Gloriously ruined is being different. Gloriously ruined is seeing things differently. Gloriously ruined is about being changed for the better.

Kim and I are gloriously ruined, and I’m okay with that. Ever since we came home from the mission field we realize more and more that we’re different, and can’t ever go back to being who we used to be. This is a by-product of being immersed in a different culture for so long.

Reverse culture shock is measured in the amount of time you’re overseas, the amount of exposure you have to the culture, and how much things have changed back home. So really it’s a formula:

Amount of time overseas + degree of exposure + factors back home = amount of reverse culture shock

We’ve been exposed to a lot. We’ve seen alternate ways of doing things. Does that mean we’re better? No. It only means we have options, and we’re not limited to one way of thinking.

So we’re ruined. . . for the better. And it means we may never really fully fit in with America culture anymore. We’ll always have that different perspective. This different perspective is manifested in the way we talk to people, the way we respond to events, the way we view church. . . It shows up in how I treat people at work, the way I interact with my apartment neighbors, and how I feel about family. It runs deep.

It also effects my understanding of God. I’ve seen how much of a global God he is. Not that all roads lead to God, but that there is a road, a very small, narrow road that mysteriously manifests itself in the most unlikely places. That is one reason I know God is real. He shows up in the least likely places. And I’ve seen how we in America so greatly complicate the issue. We put so much doctrine and rules in front of God that we forget Jesus’ simple command. “If you love me you will obey me”. Wouldn’t it be great if we were less concerned about salvation, and more concerned about loving Jesus and being His disciple. And doing what He says? Yes, that would be nice. To me God is both simple and great at the same time.

So I confess that I’m gloriously ruined. I see things differently. May I have the courage and wisdom to apply this perspective in the right places at the right time for His glory.

“Lord, use our perspective for your benefit. May we speak the appropriate word at the right time. May we love other people in a way that you want us to. May we not be encumbered by the status quo, or the limitations of our culture, to do the right thing. May we be your followers in the simplest possible ways. Thank you Lord for what you’ve done with our life. You’re not finished yet. We trust you. Amen.”

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