GodReflection: My Bible Doesn’t Read Like Yours
It’s not uncommon to hear someone express, “I have my own standards”.
It seems common place for us human types to judge each other by our own individual standards.
It is from my “standards” created by my own experiences that I interpret the world. The accumulated mass that feeds into my brain makes up my worldview.
From my worldview, I interpret everything that crosses the path of my earth walk.
It is through this worldview lens that I read my Bible.
The way I am wired colors my worldview. My particular personality follows me to the text.
Since I have a creative gene my tendency isn’t to read my Bible through the precise lens of a banker, a scientist or an accountant.
I have little interest in the periods, comas, sums and formulas each uncovers with abundant joy.
I read more as a builder, an architect or a city planner. I am a “big picture” type of guy. It is through the “what is and what can be” creative lens that I tend to see the world.
I can only read Scripture from the vantage point of who I am. I cannot read my Bible like you do because I am not you.
My own view of God influences my worldview. It colors the way I see myself and those I encounter. Thus, this God view aspect influences my open Bible. What has been my experience with God? Has He answered my prayers?
Do I look at Him as a Holy Santa Claus or as an ever-present Guide who sometime sends me down rocky trails?
Is He a clock winder God who wound up the universe like a time piece or an action toy then backed off to let it run down or is He active in my present?
My worldview is form by what I read and hear from others. To a certain extent the things I read and hear—that make sense—become a part of the way I see the world. It is with those same preconceptions—some right and some wrong—that I approach God’s Holy Bible.
Unfortunately, my prejudices—known or unknown to me—sway my worldview. I think of an extreme but real example of slavery. Sadly, slavery is more prominent across the face of the world today than it has been at any time in human history.
Not all that long ago in my own nation the way people viewed a different race made it possible to read their Bible and from it justify slavery.
The way I view others shapes my worldview. Do I see my co-travelers as inferior, equal or superior to myself? Here I am in the twenty first century living in one of the neighborhoods of the world that are in a major shift.
Up and down my street I have neighbors from Africa, Brazil, France, Mexico, Porto Rico and even a few from Texas. The way I see those of my own race and the way I look at those of other nationalities impact my worldview.
My view of self plays a role in the way I see my world. Am I self- centered living with the expectation that everything should come my way?
Do I have a view of my role on the planet? Do I see myself as an instrument of God? Do I feel capable? Or, do I view myself as inferior to others?
All of the above—and much more—compose my worldview one that is unique to me alone.
It is from my one-of-a-kind view of the world that I come to Scripture.
So here is the big question.
If each reader of the Bible brings her or his exclusive worldview to the way they read the text, shouldn’t I offer a little slack and breathing room to others who don’t see everything in Scripture the way I see it? Shouldn’t this fact alone make me less judgmental?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: My Worldview is Unique to Me