by Garth Gustafson
Your worldview will shape your life and determine your destiny more than anything else. Every person everywhere has a worldview. Most of us don’t realize what our worldview is, how it came to be, or how it influences everything we do literally every moment of everyday.
The Lenses of Our Lives
A person’s worldview is like lenses through which we view the reality of the world and make sense of it. These lenses have been shaped by our family, community, culture and life experiences. For most of us our worldview will lie subconsciously underneath all decisions that we make, determining and dictating how we live, think, act, what we spend money on and what we actually care about without us ever giving it much thought. Our worldview is extremely powerful, incredibly dangerous and yet seldom considered.
What we believe is what becomes our decision-making process and drives us in our life and therefore, is core for our being and our destiny. Because of the implications of our worldview, these lenses influence every aspect in our lives including our financial practices, political views, family values, ethics and theology.
At the same time our worldview is constantly developing, morphing and evolving as we continue to take in new information, encounter new experiences and deal with new levels of the brokenness in our world. Often times our worldview can lie dormant, not seeming very relevant until we encounter situations that shock us into actually evaluating what we believe and why we believe it.
My prayer is that we would all have our worldview shocked into a place of re-evaluation.
My Worldview Train-Wreck
My worldview was unexpectedly train-wrecked in 2002 when two things intersected in one moment, an understanding of the Gospel and the poverty of the streets of India. As I sat in an air-con coffee shop in Calcutta, India watching businessmen read the New York Times in their three-piece suits and drink cappuccinos, I should have felt at home since I come from the State of Starbucks (Washington). Instead, I could not dismiss the street kids that sat on the other side of the wall-sized window in 120-degree heat, covered in filth.
Being an American who thinks (or thought) he could solve the problems of the world, I took action and went to invite some of them in for a sandwich, cold beverage and relief from the hellish heat. That was until I was informed that even if I was paying for them, they were not allowed into the building because they were from too low of a caste. At that moment Jesus completely train-wrecked my worldview.
Broken Worldview = Broken World
Our world is broken because our worldview was broken. When sin entered the world sin began to distort, contort and eat-away at how God wanted us to see the world, which is through the lenses of His ultimate truth and which is His intention for our worldview. Unfortunately because our worldview has been with us for our whole lives, most of us don’t ever think about it. It took me 23 years before I ever considered my worldview and how it would impact the rest of my life. But after being shaken to the core by this worldview train-wreck, I had to deal with this question: If I really believe the Gospel, then how could I possibly even consider not spending my whole life responding to the extreme brokenness of the world with the truth, love and hope of Jesus?
That is exactly what Jesus did, He poured out His life to respond to the brokenness of the world and to come to restore our broken worldviews so that we can do the same.
Do I have a Biblical Worldview?
The following are questions to help us evaluate if we have a Biblical Worldview (Based on a survey by George Barna):
- Do absolute moral truths exist?
- Does the Bible define what is truth?
- Is God an All-powerful and All-knowing Creator of the Universe and remains as the God-King today and forever?
- Did Jesus live a sinless life? Died on the cross and conquered satan, sin and death through resurrection?
- Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
- Do you believe that satan is real and that there is a spiritual war going on continually?
- As a Christian do you have a responsibility to share your faith through proclamation and practice?
- Is the Bible accurate in all its teachings?
Did you say yes to these questions? Only 9% of “born-again” believers did.
The bigger check point is NOT if we say yes to the questions, but rather, do we actually live these truths out in our lives? This is the beginning point of our Worldviews being redeemed and restored by Jesus!
*For more resources from the ALLC on the topic of having a Biblical Worldview click here.