What in the World is a Worldview?

Can you say weltanschauung? I knew you could! You gotta love that word. Of course when you hear it, you want to say "God bless you," but believe me, weltanschauung is a word with meanings that are nothing to sneeze at!

Those of you who are paying attention have probably figured out that weltanschauung is not an English word...and you would be correct. It's a German word that translates as 'worldview'.

Worldview - you know, the way you look at the world. The 'glasses' you wear that help you interpret all the stuff going on around you. Everyone has a weltanschauung, but the question is-

Do you have a good weltanschauung or a bad weltanschauung?

Why is this important? Actually, it's not important. It's way beyond that. The quality of your worldview is critical, vital, and massively essential. Consider your worldview the mental map that helps guide you through reality. If you have a lousy map, you will get lost, make wrong turns, or maybe even drive off a cliff with your life.

Ooo! Ooo! Where can I get a good weltanschauung???

Good news. You don't have to go to Germany. In fact, all you need to do is keep reading.

First let's start with a bad worldview. Lousy mental roadmaps come from lousy mental roadmap makers- and believe me, there's a metric boatload of those folks. They are the writers, the musicians, the moviemakers, and even the friends who tell you that life is all about being happy, and happiness is found in getting what you want when you want it.

Bad weltanschauung! Bad! Bad!

A good worldview comes from the God who made the world in the first place. Call me crazy, but my money is on the Person who invented our reality and therefore pretty much knows the best way to live it.

Great news. He wrote it down for us. He already crafted the lenses for a worldview that gives you a clear vision for life that will take you down the best possible path. Let me give you the three foundational elements of a good worldview so that your view of the world ends up making your life good!

First: You are made in God's image

So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

This doesn't mean you're divine, but it does mean that you were divinely made. Your soul has been stamped with the image of God like a president on a coin. But unlike a coin, your value and worth is unlimited. Knowing this is key to a good worldview because an awareness that every human bears the image of God impacts how we treat each other and ourselves. When you see others through the lenses of God's image, there is no room for racism, favoritism, judgmentalism, or any other evil ism you can think of. It also impacts how you view yourself and therefore the choices you make. I am personally handcrafted by God Himself, so I will not stoop down to level of animals and act like one.

Second: The world is messed up because of sin
"No one is good--not even one. No one has real understanding; no one is seeking God. All have turned away from God; all have gone wrong. No one does good, not even one." (Romans 3:10-12)

A good worldview tells us that there is an absolute standard of right and wrong found in the Bible, and when we do or say or think the wrong things, it's called sin - and sin messes everything up. Why do people sin? Because generally speaking, it feels good! The problem is there is always a price tag that the bad worldview ignores. Unfortunately, ignoring it doesn't make it go away. The bottom line is this: you sin...you pay.

Third: The world can only be saved through Christ.
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Of course this assumes that there are real places called heaven and hell, and that people who don't trust Christ really do end up in hell- and of course that assumption is based on truth. And the truth is that this worldview sees life as a mission and a calling to use your time, talents, and treasures to help spread the good news that heaven is a free gift available to anyone. So instead of chasing false happiness in pleasure, power, or people, your life is consumed with the true path to fulfillment, which is serving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Here's the way one person put it:

I'm just a Nobody
Trying to tell Everybody
About Somebody
Who can save Anybody

So...are you ready to plug these three elements into your good weltanschauung? If so, I guarantee God will bless you!


Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resoureces for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to lane@dare2share.org.