Seeing Outside Your Worldview

BinocularsA few years ago, when our church lost its pastor, I and three other guys found ourselves in charge of our church.

One Sunday when I was out of town, one of the other guys had a friend in to preach to our church.

His friend preached about the Christian history of America and said some other things that were political.

As soon as I heard what he preached, I knew we had a problem.

When I got back in town I began calling people in our church and sure enough many people had been offended, and for good reason.

I felt we needed to apologize to our church the next Sunday for some of what had been said. I prayed about it and checked with an experienced pastor and he agreed. So, I told the other three guys. One of them agreed, another strongly disagreed and the third–the man who had invited the speaker to our church–said he didn’t think the speaker had said anything anyone should have found offensive but that he would pray about it.

That Saturday night we were at a party and he came to me and said, “You know, I’ve got to tell you I don’t see that he said anything that anyone should have found offensive, but I recognize that because of my age (he’s almost 20 years older than me) I may not be able to see some things you can see and the Lord told me to defer to you on this.”

The next day I apologized to our church. After church, people thanked me for what I had said, and we were able to put out a fire we could ill afford as a young struggling church without a pastor.

I’ve always respected my friend for his ability to recognize that as much as he loved the Lord–and I don’t know that I’ve ever met a finer man of God–he could not see everything. He had a worldview that had been molded by his generational culture and he recognized that it had its blind spots, even if he couldn’t see them, which is, by the way, the definition of a blind spot.

Worldviews are like binoculars. They allow you to see some things better than you would without them, but they also keep you from seeing things you would otherwise see without them.

We all have worldviews, which means we all have blind spots. The only way to see around blind spots is to rely on other people and the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), like my friend did. If you can do that, you will be in rare company. GS

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