Do you see like God sees? Part 2

In the last post, I referenced this image of a spinning woman to illustrate the fact that even though 2 people are looking at the exact same thing, they may see it very differently.

The same is true of our world, our reality. There is only one commonly shared reality in which we all live, yet there are countless worldviews that describe “how it works.”

I think the spinning woman has one more thing to teach us about worldviews (though every analogy fails at some point, I plan on riding this one as long as possible). The real purpose of the spinning woman is that it is a test designed to reveal something deep about who you are, something fundamental about how you tick. The story goes that if you see her spin clockwise, you use more of the right side of your brain, and if counterclockwise, the left.

What I think is so fascinating about this image is that the way it is seen is actually a function of a deeper “setting” in one’s mind. Put a different way, seeing is affected by something far more fundamental than our eyes and optical nerves, it is derivative of deeper qualities.

This truth – that our sight is determined by deeper qualities – is equally true of a person’s worldview.

Our tendency, I believe, is to think of discussions concerning worldview as a purely cognitive activity. We approach worldviews like a mental puzzle, trying to fit all the little blocks together into one cohesive structure without leaving any major piece out. If we can only analyze the problems rationally long enough, we are sure, a reasonable and right solution will present itself.

James W. Sire, author of The Universe Next Door, says something very different:

The essence of a worldview lies deep in the inner recesses of the human self. A worldview involves the mind, but it is first of all a commitment, a matter of the soul. It is a spiritual orientation more than a matter of mind alone.

Jesus, speaking to a crowd, explains the same connection between sight and soul:

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. (Luke 11:34)

Worldview is not merely an intellectual, philosophical discussion (though it is surely that too), but, as Jesus teaches, is an overflow of the spiritual condition of our heart.

The question remains to be answered then: how does our worldview change and develop? How do we begin the process of seeing the world more and more as the Bible sees it?

First, we must acknowledge that wherever our worldview differs from the Bible we have failed morally as well as intellectually and are ultimately responsible. Sin has affected even the deepest reaches of our spiritual vision. Without the gracious intervention of Christ, we are blind to the spiritual truths of reality.

All of us, at some level, can identify with Jesus’ words: “seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (Matt 13:13)

Yet also, by the grace of God, we may be granted the eyes to see God and the world as it really is:
Paul, praying for the Ephesians, writes,

I do not cease to give thanks…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you. (Eph. 1:16-18)

Our worldview, just like everything about us, is skewed and twisted by the deep root of sin that runs through our most basic beliefs. It is only by the gracious hand of God interfering in our lives that we are granted the vision to see the world as it really is.

My prayer (for you and me) is that our minds would be transformed to see and discern the world as God does, that, over time, as we steep in His word and let the truths found therein percolate in our minds and hearts, our eyes would become more and more aligned with His, that, by His grace, we would be granted the spiritual sight promised to those who believe.

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