We had been planning and preparing for over a year. Our daughter’s wedding was scheduled for 9:00 am. At 9:15 the groom was in the shower, the bride had no ride to the venue, and 31 flower girls were milling around the guest house waiting for the bus that would transport them.
Our daughter had moved to Uganda to serve orphans with Sonrise Ministries. In early March she and Derick, a Ugandan, were married. It was an exciting adventure as our family traveled to Jinja for the wedding. And yes, we knew there would be challenges, not only for her, but for us as well.
What I didn’t realize, however, was how this trip would affect my assumptions about how life should work. I was super stressed and indignant. Didn’t these people know how to tell time? Did they realize how much stress they were inflicting on the bride? They were ruining her special day!
Finally, by 10:00 am, all had arrived at the venue. Well, all except the pastor. He, too, finally arrived and the wedding commenced. It was beautiful!
What was going on inside me, however, was not so beautiful. My knee-jerk reaction was to judge and criticize. My life values created a picture which vindicated me and devalued them. The priority I placed on time was biblical and God-honoring, right? Surely God was as frustrated with the delay as I was. Or was he? As I tried to picture this day from His perspective, I began to realize that my worldview needed adjusting.
Worldview is the way we see and understand the world. It’s the belief system that shapes our values; the filter through which we interpret and react to circumstances. Having a biblical worldview implies that we see and understand the world from God’s perspective. We value what He values and therefore respond in ways that are congruent with those values. What I discovered, however, was that my responses don’t always reflect biblical values.
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus challenged the worldview of his listeners. He painted a picture of kingdom values that was in stark contrast to the values of the people, even the religious leaders. Meekness rather than power. Mercy rather than judgement. Self-denial rather than self-exaltation. Seeking God’s approval rather than man’s. Putting the kingdom before material needs. The list goes on.
Developing a biblical worldview isn’t an easy task. Culture influences what we expect in life. American culture values individualism, independence, security, safety, productivity, etc. Wrongly applied, these values may be counter to kingdom values. Here are some questions to guide us as we evaluate our worldview.
- Does my use of time reflect biblical values
– Do I spend as much time engaged in spiritual disciplines as I do on my phone?
– Am I too busy with activities to invest in people?
– Do I have a balance of leisure and service?
- What do my finances indicate about my values?
– What luxuries do I indulge in?
– Am I generous/sacrificial in my giving?
– How important is a healthy savings account?
- Do I exemplify trust in God?
– Do I shy away from things requiring risk?
– Do I yield to the opinion of others out of fear?
– Is safety/security my priority?
These are just a few questions to get us thinking. And there aren’t necessarily right and wrong answers to every question. We should, however, consider them before God and allow Him to adjust our vision where needed. This requires us to spend time with Him, meditating on His Word and listening to the Spirit. We can also benefit from healthy dialog with others who will challenge us and share a different perspective.
A wedding on Ugandan time opened my eyes to an unhealthy prioritizing of promptness. I was robbed of joy, distracted from treasuring the significance of the day, and probably offended a few people along the way. Thankfully, we have a God who uses these moments to sharpen our vision and help us see through his eyes. – by Cindy Shuler, from wgusa.org