Have you ever heard a commercial, your boss or even a religious leader say something that sounded seriously "off" to you? I'm not talking about a simple misunderstanding. Their language was fundamentally different and, in your heart and mind, it didn't make sense.
Did you ever figure out why that happened?
Simply put, your worldviews clashed.
Everyday, ideological waves crash around us as we engage in conversation, watch a Superbowl commercial or a movie. Everyone has a worldview, even if they can't articulate it.
So what is a worldview? How can you discover yours and the ones around you?
WHAT IS A WORLDVIEW?
Worldview describes what you believe about the world. If you want to discover your worldview (or someone else's), you can answer four basic questions to begin the process:
1. How did everything begin? If this question trips you up, start with the earth. Ask, "Where did the Earth come from?" Then take your answer and try asking, "Well, where did that come from?" Keep going until you run out of answers. That's your "uncaused cause"
2. Is there evil and, if so, where did it come from?
3. What can be done to solve world problems?
4. What happens after death?
TAKE YOUR TIME
These questions cannot stand up to the typical Sunday School answers.
You have to search your mind and soul. It took me several years to come into my worldview. I've been guilty of rushing into decisions.
Once, a water-softener salesman came to our house and we were both convinced we "needed" it. Debt. Wait a minute?! We'd recently paid off all our debt. We were finally free! Now, we were asking a stranger to come into our home, cuff us, and bring captivity to our lives once more? What happened?
Instantly, the sage advice of a friend came to mind:
Always sleep overnight about major purchases.
In the end we told the salesperson we would call him in the morning with a decision.
It got ugly. The, "You can only have this deal if you become my prisoner right now" kind of talk spewed from his mouth. He offered us a guilt trip and we politely asked him to leave. A wave of relief immediately came over us; we knew right then that high pressure sales doesn't work. It actually drives people away or leaves customers with guilt.
And I can promise that you'll never get that from me. I'm not a salesperson, or a guilt-tripper. This deal lasts until you die. You have time to think through this decision carefully. Spend time reading, pondering, praying, or writing (if that's your thing) until you can confidently answer the questions. Here's a great chart I found to help get you going!
If you run into doubts, stay the course. If you are seriously considering the options and want to be certain, I applaud you for that! Important decisions take time. Your next step is to find someone right now to pat you on the back and pretend it's me! Then get back to it and try to enjoy the process.
Idea: Kids are a great sounding boards and natural question-askers. If you know any children, invite them into your mental world. Children are comfortable with the in-between spaces and can challenge and encourage you there.
CAN YOU CHANGE YOUR WORLDVIEW?
You might also be wondering if you can change your worldview. Yes. Mine has developed over the years. However, once you reach a certain age, it can be extremely difficult.
Old habits are very strong. Choosing a worldview doesn't need to feel limiting, but it's not something to trifle with. This decision greatly impacts all other decisions. If you answer the four questions honestly, they will shape how you respond to the world around you.
Ultimately, you will need to face the issue of worldview because it offers you the chance to respond to the world intentionally.
Understanding your worldview binds the hands of those who seek to manipulate you and your family. Life becomes purposeful, even in the small daily decisions.
Worldview: You have one; we all do.
It can be thrust upon you by the culture, or you can choose it intentionally.
Which worldview did you settle on?