Every human ever born develops some type of worldview. Our worldview is formed by many things, including: our education; our upbringing; the society and culture we live in; the books we read; the teachers we have; and our exposure to television, radio or the newspapers. For many people, their worldview is simply something they have absorbed by continual contact with their surrounding influences.
Most people have not identified their worldview or their perceptions of how life should operate. They just live life day-to-day, not consciously or intentionally living out their particular worldview. Their worldview may be biblical or secular, or somewhere in between.
Sadly, much of our view of the world is shaped by people and circumstances around us which are often broken and darkened by sin. Thus, our worldview also becomes distorted and broken. Having this kind of view of the world can lead us to become deceived about many things.
When our thinking and beliefs have been shaped by “the world” – through vain philosophies, false religions and ungodliness – we end up with a worldly or secular worldview (Phil 3:17-19).
WHY WE NEED TRANSFORMATION
The moment we are saved through faith in Christ, all our sins are forgiven (Col 1:14). The penalty for our sin was paid by the blood of Christ (Rom 3:24, 25). When we are forgiven, our sins are remembered by God no more (Heb 10:16, 17). Our past is viewed by God as completely pure and holy (1Cor 6:9-11).
But some of the effects of our sinful life prior to Christ can still remain with us. The Bible reveals that after salvation, we need further transformation of our heart and mind (2Cor 3:18; Heb 10:14; Rom 8:29; 12:1,2). This transformation will help us to think and act more like a follower of Christ, and to have a different, more godly worldview.
Our secular worldview often hinders us from recognizing or responding to the righteous standards of the Bible. We end up not living as a fruitful citizen of God’s Kingdom, or enjoying the benefits our new heavenly citizenship. We may continue to practice or believe things that contradict the Bible. Or we may choose to fall back into a sinful lifestyle.
Let us study a bit more about our worldview to discover why this often happens.
YOU HAVE A WORLDVIEW
Everyone has a worldview. Your worldview consists of how you view and perceive many things – including relationships, family, work, government and religion. Your worldview influences all of your decisions and actions.
Since our worldview is so important to how we live – and do the work of the ministry – let us take a closer look at the meaning of “worldview”:
- A worldview is the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
- A worldview is a collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.
Unfortunately, many are living a life which is inconsistent with a biblical view simply because they have been deceived by the many factors that can shape a worldview.
The nature of deception is sinister. The one who is deceived is often unaware that he or she is being deceived (2Tim 3:13). Every one of us has the potential for wickedness and deception in our heart (Jer 17:9). So we need a source of truth in order to check our heart.
God, in His wisdom, revealed Himself and His truth to us. Over the centuries, the Holy Spirit inspired God’s servants to write down this truth. These writings have been preserved and passed down through the generations, and are known today as the Holy Bible. These holy Scriptures act as a compass to guide us to truth, and as a light which illuminates the truth (Ps 119:105).
We must always examine what we believe and why we believe it against the Bible, the Word of God, which reveals to us the truth. It is through this process of examination, with the Word of God as the standard, that we will discern deception and error from the truth.
If we never examine our values and beliefs, then we cannot be sure that what we believe is based upon truth. If we are not in truth, then we must be in deception or a lie.
This is the primary reason why many people eventually go astray: Instead of living by the wisdom and truth of God’s Word, they live by the basic standards of the world. They are guided by an ungodly worldview, and their behavior reflects those beliefs.
Not only do they go astray, but then they lead others astray as well: “And He spoke a parable to them: ‘Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?’” (Luke 6:39).
That is why the Bible cautions us to beware of the world’s view of truth and life: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col 2:8).
Take some time to study the following selection of scriptures to gain a greater understanding of God’s perspective on the “world” as opposed to His Kingdom truth: John 18:36; Romans 12:1,2; 1 Corinthians 3:18,19; 6:2; 7:31; Galatians 4:3; Colossians 2:20; James 4:4; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 2:15-17; 4:4,5.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOURSELF
If the foundation of our life is built upon worldly philosophy, traditions of men and the ungodly principles of the world, we will not be able to build a house that will stand (Matt 7:24-27). Yet, even knowing this, an ungodly worldview is often something we are so comfortable with that we have a difficult time changing it.
Our worldview is shaped from birth, throughout our life experience, and becomes very much a part of us. That makes it difficult for us to see from a biblical or heavenly perspective. Thus, we see why the Bible stresses the importance of knowing yourself and accurately judging yourself: “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (1Cor 11:31; see also Jeremiah 17:9, 10; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16).
Knowing yourself involves understanding why you have the positions, opinions, beliefs and perceptions that you have formed in life. Gaining understanding about why you see life the way you do will help you change any wrong perceptions that may be affecting your spiritual discernment.
This is especially important as it pertains to ministry leadership, since you have been entrusted to lead and care for the Bride of Christ. You have been given influence over and responsibility for something that God loves very deeply: His Church, His people. You must be able to see truth clearly and to live by it in order to guide others in the truth.