Share about a time in your life when you experienced a significant shift in what you believed or what you thought was important.
Summary: Our worldview is simply what we believe to be true and important. The more our worldview aligns with God’s reality, the more joy we will have, the more fulfilled we will be and the more life-changing impact we will have on others.
Our beliefs and our values both shape how we interpret our lives and the world around us. For example, someone could have a firm belief in the Trinity, but might not consider God an important part of their life. Conversely, someone may be very passionate and devoted to “God,” but have a view of God that is completely unbiblical.
Brainstorm: Have each person in the group make a short list of some of their beliefs (these could be beliefs about anything), then rank how important they are to you.
So many factors go into shaping our worldview. Many of our beliefs and values are unconsciously believed as children and consciously chosen as we mature. As children we naturally adopt the beliefs and values of those around us just as we learn the language of those around us. As we get older and encounter other worldviews, we grow in the ability to consider others’ beliefs and values and to question those we knew as children.
This is why reading the Bible and interpreting it accurately is so important. We need to continually evaluate our own beliefs and values in light of the beliefs and values God communicates through his Word.
Differences in worldviews cause the majority of our conflicts with one another. Even if two people believe the same things, they will likely have different values, and this can cause frustration. It’s usually not a matter of someone valuing something and another person not valuing that. Two individuals can place a very different value on the very same idea or belief.
We can see an example of this difference in values in James 2:19, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.” Both believers in Jesus Christ and demons believe the same thing — that God exists. This passage in James makes the point that many have faith, but only a faith that produces works is a genuine faith. Why don’t demons have a faith that transforms them and produces good works? Demons believe in God. Demons know God is powerful. They “shudder,” presumably in fear. They know who Jesus is and what He’s done. Demons know the gospel is true. What’s the difference then? Demons hate God; they don’t value God. They value chaos, evil and themselves.
We can also see this difference of values in our daily lives. One example is the subject of cleanliness. One person might value keeping things free from dirt (think mopping the floor and dusting regularly) while another may value keeping things from piling up on the furniture. Both people value cleanliness, but one places a different or higher “value” on cleanliness than the other. This is why respect, humility, seeking to understand others, good communication and compromise allow people to live together peacefully.
Being culturally self-aware is very helpful for our spiritual growth and maturity as Christians. It can make us aware of how we might be reading our cultural perspective into our understanding of God’s Word. It’s also important to question what we believe and what we value so we can allow God to transform us into people who love him above all else and love others well. We want to be people who live in light of the kingdom of God more than any other kingdom on this earth.
Process: If there’s time, download the Perspective Cards® iOS or Android app and go through the app to determine how your worldview lines up with some of the central beliefs in the Bible.
Since we last met, what happened as a result of expressing Christ’s love to others?
How can you, or we, express Christ’s love to others this week?
Here are a few ideas:
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