Summary: The world around us presents us with one perspective, an ungodly way to live our lives. Jesus calls you to live a life that glorifies Him, and you can only do that with a Christian worldview. This is what it is, and how to live it out.
In my last post, I concluded the miniseries on Renewing Your Mind as a disciple of Jesus by teaching on how to practice Christian morals. In this post, I begin a new miniseries in the Conformed to Christ spiritual formation blog on how to adopt a Christian worldview.
With every decision a person makes and every action a person takes, he or she either honors Jesus or betrays Him. I know, it sounds so cut and dried, black and white, but when you are living for Jesus, He doesn’t settle for second place. The Bible uses the image of marriage when it describes a relationship with Jesus. Idolatry was often labeled spiritual adultery in the Old Testament.
We’re starting a new miniseries on developing a Christian perspective. Perspective and worldview go hand in hand. As we go through these Christian perspectives, measured his home on how close to them you are, and ask the Holy Spirit if you need to prioritize getting better with a certain perspective. We will start with having a Christian worldview. Let’s get started.
What Is a Christian Perspective
As we begin this miniseries on developing Christian perspectives, we need to know what a perspective is. It is a way of thinking about and seeing this world we live in. Jesus did not pray that we be taken out of this world, but that we live in it (John 17: 15). He wanted us to be here to influence our world for Him.
How do we influence the world? Why can’t we just go home to be with Him? In His wisdom, Jesus wanted us to gain a heavenly perspective of our world so we could be the most effective in it for Him. We need to see the world the way Jesus sees it, the people who dwell in it. They matter to Him, and they must matter to us.
It’s easy for you to want to see your family and friends that matter to you in heaven. It’s much harder to see strangers, people you don’t know, and people you are not fond of the way Jesus sees them. It Christian perspective seeks to think about the people in this world and see the people in this world the way Jesus thinks about and sees them.
This will bring you to your knees in prayer, asking Jesus to give you a heart for the lost, the homeless of this world who do not know Him, and therefore have no opportunity for an eternal inheritance in heaven. Instead of hating the people who hate you, you need to find a way to see them like Jesus. You need to learn how to love the unlovable.
This miniseries will help you to develop a Christian perspective to replace the one you gave up at the foot of the Cross. What does it mean to think about this world like Jesus, and to see the world as a Christian? How do you see yourself, and how do you fit into this world? How do you use your influence for God’s Kingdom?
What Is a Christian Worldview?
Let’s start with defining worldview. A worldview is how you perceive your reality, the ways you think about it and understand it. It’s the color on your sunglasses, for example. The world will look a little more yellow if you have yellow sunglasses. It will look a little more brown or gray if you have ground or black sunglasses. That’s worldview. How you color your reality, the lenses you use to see the world, that shows your worldview. We all have a worldview whether we realize it or not.
Worldview can be a very subjective approach to reality. Because we all have a worldview, we may not like others challenging it. It can be very personal. Others can evaluate your worldview when you share it. They will first compare it to their own. If we don’t like what someone has to say about our worldview, we can ignore them, or even criticize theirs.
Since they are subjective, having a Christian worldview focuses your lens of the world through the eyes of Jesus, His teaching, commandments and expectations. A Christian worldview lays down rules for how to deal with other people, situations, trials, and how to think, act, and speak in ways that please Him.
We can reject a worldview, even if our Master gives it to us. We sometimes fall short of the worldview Jesus gave us. We can reject our Christian worldview and not respond like Jesus. You could say that with every word used to be on the action you take, and some using you either accept or reject a Christian worldview.
A Different Master
Jesus gave us our Christian worldview. As our Master, He has presented to us a different way of looking at the world. The world has its own master, Satan. We used to have a worldview shaped by him, but now we have a different Master with His own lens to view the world.
Jesus has laid down what it means to think, interact with, and see the world as He does. He gave these perspectives to us throughout His earthly ministry, teachings, and life example. We will be going through some of these perspectives as we advance through this miniseries on Christian perspective. With each post, you will see a contrast between a worldly perspective and a Christian one.
All these perspectives, and probably more I will not get to, together form a Christian worldview. They show us how we can interact with our world the way Jesus would and did. In some ways, we must force ourselves to have a Christian worldview. It’s so easy to adopt the worldview others have instead of reminding ourselves of Jesus’s worldview.
Because we are surrounded by people who do not have a Christian worldview, we must focus all the more on that Jesus teaches us to interact with our world. We cannot call Jesus our Master if we do not have His lenses on as we look at this world. It may sometimes seem like looking at the world with a Christian worldview is backwards, but this world is backwards compared to Jesus’s view.
A Different Outlook
The nice thing is that Jesus outlined His teachings as completely as we need. Every once in a while, I wish Jesus had clarified certain things, but everything He said is all we need to maintain a Christian worldview. He gives us an entirely different way of seeing how to apply everything He said. If we are unsure how to proceed, we can ask the Holy Spirit.
Our outlook on the world begins with the way the Bible describes it. We have examples in the Old Testament of how Israel wanted to be like the nations around them, an example of what not to do. Then, in the New Testament, we had Jesus’s teachings and example, the church history of Acts to see how the first Christians continued His legacy, and the commentary of the epistles. We even have the prophecy of Revelation to tell us what will happen in the future.
This Christian outlook on life accepts that trials are not because God is angry with us. We can learn something in our trials. The world does not view trials like this. When we have challenging people with contrary personalities, we love them like Jesus loves them. We do not attempt to ruin other people’s lives just for the fun of it.
Rejecting Living for Today
Everyone around you who does not believe in Jesus or practice His ways seeks their reward now. They live to please themselves and to make the most of today. Some Christians have said that this world is the only hell Christians will ever know, and the only heaven non-Christians will ever know. Living for today and not worrying about the future is called a temporal perspectives.
People seek to get ahead, have selfish ambition, and live to please themselves. Pride and selfishness rule their lives. They are out to see what they can get for themselves. Even the love they show others is based in selfishness. For some, today is all they have and all they will know. A popular slogan for this philosophy of life is YOLO (You Only Live Once).
In the Old Testament, right after Israel met God on Mount Sinai, they waited for Moses to come back from atop the Mount. They didn’t wait very long before they made an idol of a golden calf and began to worship it. The slogan in the Old Testament was “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (Isaiah 22:13; 1 Corinthians 15:32).
But Christians live a different way. We know we will only be on this earth for so long, but when we die physically, it is not the end for us. We will live forever with Jesus in heaven. So, we do not live for an earthly reward or a quick fix. We reject this philosophy have today because we have an eternal perspective.
An Eternal Perspective
One overarching Christian principle is to not live for today. Jesus taught us to look toward the eternal perspective of the end. Instead of pleasing ourselves in the immediate and short-term, to see immediate gratification, we follow God’s ways and live for eternal inheritance and reward.
We live for Jesus today, and every day, and that sometimes means delaying our gratification to glorify Him. If we do something that pleases Jesus, but it doesn’t make our lives more comfortable, and may make them much harder, that doesn’t mean we made the wrong decision. Living for Jesus means being the scorn of the world.
As you live for Jesus, are you living up to your Christian worldview? Do your reactions, words, and decisions glorify Jesus, or do they flirt with the world’s standards of doing what’s best for yourself?
Now that we see what a Christian worldview is, we will look at how to learn contentment in a world teaching us to never be content.