Worldviews are like edifices. They are a structure of thoughts built into our minds. We look out at the world through the windows of this structure. Our visibility corresponds to the strength or weakness of our structure in relation to what is true. We will see reality more accurately the more our structure is aligned with truth and less accurately the more the structure errs.
Our structure has many rooms designed by experience, assumptions, and what we have gleaned learning from others either on purpose or by mindless absorption. To use a Star Trek reference it is like a Borg Ship, where we have assimilated ideas that we have come in contact with throughout the years of our life. We are all assimilating the data into our mental structure whether we do it on purpose or not. Very few think about the structure that is being built. We think with it all the time, but never about it. Very few people know there is a thought structure inside the mind.
Imagine, for a moment, building a structure without blue prints. Instead of designing your building on purpose, you simply receive any building material that comes your way and plug it into the structure. You add the rusted crossbeams, scraps of carpet, warped wood, some old lead paint, and molded insulation. You watch a movie that has a house with a bright red door, enchanted you add one to your house. A friend shares a plush orange carpet with you and you lay it into your house. This is pretty much the way we treat our worldview.
We build with ideas that come from movies, culture, sermons, teachers, parents, friends, experts, emotions, positive and negative experiences, and whatever strikes our fancy. Like a magnet these ideas attach to our internal edifice and we begin to think along the paths created.
Worldviews are complex. It is not as simple as saying I’m a Christian so my worldview is Jesus. Or I’m a Bible believer. My worldview is everything that Bible says and that settles it. If only it were that simple. We think through that internal structure about everything. It dictates how we think about men, women, children, church, business, education, entertainment, government, laws, evil, good, food, clothes, money, relationships, and God or religion.
If our view of any one of the many facets of life is not aligned with what is true, that area of our life will often be maligned by that view. Our finances can only be as good as our thinking concerning provision. Our relationships will be helped or hindered by the way we think about them and many other things in our worldview. Errors in thinking create errors in living.
Because we live without thinking about our worldview, we often have difficultly applying a newly learned truth and changing our thinking accordingly. We have a breakthrough in understanding where we used to think poorly about a matter and now we agree that this truth is something worth holding on to and applying to the way we think. Normally we do not give it much thought beyond that “ah ha” moment. We may tell a friend and then go on to life as normal.
If we want that newly apprehended truth to stick we have to make it stick. Usually we add a new patch of carpet to the old carpet in one of the rooms of our edifice. Maybe we add some new paint, but the room is still the old room. We did not tear out the lie we believed. We did not do any surgery on our worldview. We simply had a moment of clarity where we saw truth despite our worldview and then went on our way.
What we need to do is the process Jesus calls repentance. We have to change the way we think. If we want to keep the new truth and apply it to our lives we have to make a home for it in our thinking. That is going to require renouncing the lies that created our thinking about this thing before. Then changing the way we think by meditating on the truth. Then practice that truth. Think according to it. Make notes for yourself that this is a truth you are going to apply to your life. When the old thoughts come up take them captive. Force them away from your thinking by reminding yourself of the truth. In time the old will go away, and your mind will be renewed with the truth. You can know you have replaced the lie with truth in your worldview when you are now free in the area where you once were under the influence of a lie. Then we repeat this process with the next truth.
If we do not do this on purpose, we will not have a worldview that is true and consequently we will not see the world as it is meant to be seen. To start practicing this, pursue truth. Read it, listen to it, receive it, and when you find it, apply it in this manner. Otherwise all the truths you wish could have changed your life, only float by as a fleeting nice idea and then they are gone. Living the truth requires thinking the truth. Stop building without blue prints, find the truth of a matter and build that structure of thought with truth.
Back to the Future: Rebuilding America’s Stability
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