Straight Talk - July 2017
One of my goals through my monthly Director article has been to communicate the uniquely important role I believe worldviews play in our lives. Both professionally and personally. Individually and collectively. What we deem to be “true” informs the morals, values and principles we subscribe to. It is what our identity is rooted in and where we find worth. The way we interpret the world around us and our individual experiences form the lens we filter life through. Looking back, I realize I have never clearly defined my own beliefs for you. So, this month I would like to share with you what those are and how they play out in my daily life. In doing so, maybe I can encourage some of you struggling to balance work, family and life.
My personality has always been on the logical side as opposed to the emotional side. I am more interested in discovering what is true or most reasonable than I am of finding something that makes me feel good. I enjoy evaluating the reasons for a particular point of view and determining if those reasons support the conclusion. It’s this approach, combined with some difficult times in my life, that have set the stage for my worldview.
I highlight my personality so you understand that my beliefs, values and principles are the results of careful consideration and not emotional appeals. My life’s journey has led me to become convinced that Jesus of Nazareth is who he claimed to be. I believe in the historical accuracy of his life, death and resurrection. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
I know many will find this idea absurd and, I have had more than one close friend tell me I’ve “lost my mind.” I also know a lot of you are picturing a particular “Christian” person or incident that cause you to reject it. Reactions to my faith will range from agreement to hostility, apathy to pity, and each of these reactions are OK. I am not here to convert anyone. I only want to highlight that what you put your faith and trust in influences how you engage life.
Every human has a belief system, and we all place our trust in something. Either in ourselves, our goodness, our accomplishments and abilities or in something outside of us. My faith isn’t a belief despite the evidence against it. It is a belief grounded in the overwhelming evidence for it. Being Christian doesn’t mean I have an elevated view of myself over others. Or that I consistently live out what Jesus taught. Quite the opposite. I recognize daily that I fail as a husband, father and friend. That I am selfish and prideful. That I am a long way from perfection. More importantly, though, I realize that my worth isn’t tied to how good I can behave or how successful and popular I become. My value isn’t determined by my job or even how people perceive me. My identity is rooted in something apart from me.
If your significance is found in your appearance, money or stuff; if it’s being a mother or father, a police officer or a spouse; what happens when you lose that? If the source of your self-worth is gone, what are you left with? As Directors, we often see behind the curtain of our members’ lives. We see the impact of depression, dependency and illness. We hear about the devastation of broken homes, severed relationships and failed friendships. We know the vulnerabilities that exist and often see behind the mask most of us wear. Too often this brokenness leads to disastrous and life-altering decisions.
My encouragement and challenge to all of you is to evaluate what and who you put your faith in. We all serve and submit to something. It can be ambition, recognition, gratification or approval. It can be spiritual, emotional or physical. Whatever that something is, it has a profound impact on how we prioritize our lives. What we believe to be “true” dictates our choices and perspectives about life and ourselves.
My worldview reminds me that I’m flawed and fall short of perfection. It helps me balance the pressures of work with family. It gives me the ability to invest heavily in what matters and provides hope in situations outside my control. It accounts for good and evil, right and wrong. It asks me to look outside myself and encourages me to pursue what is true and right. It offers grace for my imperfection and motivates me to share it. I hope your worldview does the same for you.
Be smart. Be safe.
If you have questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] or contact me at (951) 415-5943.