At our recent Whole Life Symposium, Jose Philip, from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, introduced the concept of Worldviews. Everybody has a worldview, whether they acknowledge it or not. More often than not, they do not talk about it simply because they are unaware. This is because asking someone what his or her worldview is like trying to ask a fish to describe how wet the water is. You have no clue what it is; you are just in it. Nonetheless, your worldview defines everything about you.
What is a Worldview?
First of all, let us define what it is not. It is not about the physical reality of the world that you and I live in; that is science. Instead, here is what worldview is and what it means for us:
It is the metaphysical, or philosophical, or ideological reality of the world you and I live in.
It governs how we live, not where we live. It defines why we live, what we live for, what we appreciate, what we reject, what we are passionate about, and what we detest.
What Makes Up Our Worldview?
Other than understanding what our worldview does for us, we also need to know that there are a few categories that shape our worldview:
Cognitive: How we think. This is central. Do not let anyone take that away from you or the next generation that you have the privilege of parenting or ministering to. As a people think, so they will live. Everything else follows from this first category.
Moral: How we discern between right and wrong. We cannot make a moral decision without having a clear idea of what is right and wrong. Our cognition and our morality are like two sides of the same coin. As we think, so we live. If we think something is alright even though it is morally wrong, we will act wrongly.
Pragmatic: What we do with what is right and what is wrong. Have you heard this phrase, “the ends justify the means”? It is the belief that says, “It does not matter what I do as long as I get the job done”. Think about it. Is it really true that the ends justify the means? Not really. But we seem to think about it that way, don’t we? We do that all the time. Every time we get into a situation where it is going to affect us, the first thing we are tempted to compromise on is not what we do, but how we do it.
These are the three fundamental things that shape our worldview. Understanding and defining these contributing factors will help us strengthen our values, and guide us on how to live.
Are you aware of how you think, how you discern between right and wrong, and what you do with what is right and what is wrong? Why not take a moment today and examine your own worldview? If you spot inconsistencies, take active steps to firm up the foundation of your worldview, so that you can live out biblical values in all aspects of your life.
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