HAGELIN: God’s worldview brings happiness

Culture Challenge of the Week: An Empty Worldview

My friend Jill is one of the lucky few who seem to eat all day, yet never gain a pound.

Last weekend, she stopped at Panera Bread for lunch, simply ravenous. But it was one of those days when the lunchtime lines were long, circling back to the door. The cashiers worked as fast as they could, greeting customers cheerfully, taking their orders, and moving them on.

A young woman who had just stepped away from the counter, after placing her order, returned and caught the cashier’s attention.

“Yes, is something wrong?” the cashier asked.

“You overpaid me,” said the woman, “You gave me two tens instead of one.”

“Oh, honey, I am so glad you came back.” The cashier looked relieved, took a minute to look over the receipt and the change and then thanked her. “You’re very honest.”

The young man in front of Jill muttered. “She should have kept the money. She’s making all of us wait.”

As hungry as she was, Jill told me, she had to defend the young woman. “I’m hungry, too. But she did the right thing, don’t you think?” The young man turned away, impatient and annoyed.

What made the young woman do the right thing? And why did the young man’s hunger overcome his sense of honesty?

In a word, “worldview.”

A person’s worldview shows itself in “unguarded moments,” according to Del Tackett of Focus on the Family. It’s “a combination of all you believe to be true and [this] becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision and action.”

Chuck Colson’s Center for Christian Worldview puts it this way: “Worldview [is] a vision of the world and our place in it where every facet of our life — family, occupation, recreation, relationships, finances, everything — finds its meaning and end in God’s purposes for us and for the world.”

Jill’s encounter points out that a faulty worldview — like the young man’s self-absorbed mindset — affects the small, daily decisions of life. But it affects our crucial life-changing decisions as well.

Another friend, Terry, is four-months pregnant and recently learned that her baby has Down syndrome. At Terry’s sonogram appointment to confirm the diagnosis, someone helpfully told her that an abortion clinic operated on the first floor of the same building.

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