After getting married, my husband and I didn’t know where we would be living for the first few months. Our jobs were up in the air, and we couldn’t find a place to rent or buy. So, we decided to purchase a fifth-wheel trailer and a truck to pull it with—that way, we would have a home no matter where our jobs might lead us. Neither of us had any experience with campers, but we were eager to learn. We ended up buying a four-year-old trailer that had only been used for the occasional summer getaway. After picking it up from the previous owners, we pulled it out to our site.
The couple we had purchased it from had warned us that it could take a while to set up. “With one of you driving and the other pointing where to go, you’ll end up shouting at each other and have your first argument as a married couple,” the husband joked. With his words in our ears, we began the first step of setting up our new home: planting it on level ground.
Right above the hitch on the front of the trailer was a level to guide the process. As I shouted instructions, Ben backed the truck and trailer into the spot we had selected, keeping an eye on the level. When I told him that it looked good, he shook his head and pointed at the level. “No, we’re leaning way to the left.” I peered at the level, and sure enough, it said we were far from level ground. So, Ben pulled forward, and I directed him to a patch of ground off to the right with the same result. Still not level.
I scratched my head “That’s weird. It doesn’t look like it’s leaning that far.”
A look of concern came over Ben’s face. “Maybe there’s something wrong with the trailer’s alignment.”
For the next 30 minutes, we tried hard to stay calm as we struggled to find level ground. Our frustration was rising, and our worries were mounting. Maybe we had made a bad purchase? Maybe there was a significant issue that needed to be fixed? As a young married couple, we hated the idea of spending money to fix our new home, but we certainly didn’t want it tipping over in the middle of the night! But no matter how hard we tried, the trailer continued leaning to the left.
After another failed attempt, Ben finally hopped out of the truck and slammed his hand on the side of the bed in frustration. That’s when we saw it. The level moved. I stepped closer to the front of the trailer and reached for it. As I did, it came off and fell into my hands. It had been detached the whole time and was slowly falling off the trailer! Our reference point had not been trustworthy. With a faulty guide, we had no possible chance of leveling our trailer.
For me, this experience became a living parable. A “level” reference point is crucial when considering an approach to living. What we believe about our origins, our purpose, and our destiny shapes how we live and where we search for solutions to life’s problems. This orientation to existence is called a worldview.
Your worldview affects how you engage with religion, politics, relationships, finances, and even diet. There is no aspect of living in this world that is untouched by the lens of your worldview. This begs the obvious question, what is your worldview? What is your philosophical approach to life? Is it off-kilter and leading you astray, or are you building on level, solid truth?
Scripture tells us that there are many untruths in the world that do not lead to the One who is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). In his first epistle, John adds to this thought by saying, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). This text urges us to carefully consider competing worldviews.
One Bible writer counseling his young protégé reminded him to do this very thing even as he led and instructed others. “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:2–4).
This Bible writer knew that many falsehoods would captivate hearts and minds. Thus, he urged the younger man to preach the truth and admonished the Colossians to give no opportunity for fables to take root. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
A more modern Christian writer sums up the human search for a worldview in this way: “All that we call human history . . . [is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”1 This is absolutely right. The only reliable worldview that offers answers to life’s questions is one that depends on God. His Word is a guide for life that we can trust. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).
But no matter what facts are presented to people, they will interpret those facts through the lens of their worldview. For example, when Goliath, the Philistine giant, came out to challenge the Israelites, the facts seemed quite clear to the quaking Hebrews: this massive warrior would be impossible to beat. And when David stepped forward to fight—a boy with a sling taking on the mighty soldier—the facts suggested that the Philistine would rip the boy in two. However, the apparent facts of the situation were superseded by facts that were only spiritually discerned. As a shepherd, David had seen the deliverance of the Lord and knew it was at hand once more. “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). God had been shaping and growing David’s worldview, encouraging the boy to trust in Him. Thus, when the moment came to face Goliath, David’s confidence in the Lord was already assured.
Everything we encounter in life—everything we see, hear, or experience—is examined through our particular worldview. Even what we understand to be the facts of the matter are interpreted through our worldviews. When the Israelites saw Goliath, their worldview led them to fear. But when God struck down Goliath through the young shepherd’s sling, David’s God-grounded worldview was confirmed. Like David, we must be sure our approach to life is grounded in God and His Word.
A biblical worldview offers the best answers to the questions men and women have. “Is there hope? Can a biblical worldview equip us with the resources to meet the challenge, reverse the pattern, and confidently set forth our case in the public arena?
“The answer is a resounding yes.”2
God’s Word can be trusted to deliver the fulfillment our hearts long for. “The Bible brings us truth that satisfies the needs and desires of every heart. This truth is given in such a simple and interesting way that it surprises and pleases the best minds. Yet it makes clear even to humble and uneducated people how they can be saved. These simply stated truths also touch on subjects that are too hard for us to understand. We accept them only because God spoke them.”3 God’s Word can be trusted to provide just what we need.
For young people seeking to understand their own identity, for those who are searching for joy, for the Christian longing to make sense of the world’s calamities, Christ reveals His perspective in His Word. If we embrace Jesus and His worldview, seeing as He sees, we will always be on level ground.
Katelyn Weakley is a pastor in Oregon, where she lives with her husband, Ben.
S. Joseph Kidder is a pastor and seminary professor.
1. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: MacMillan, 1952), 53, 54.
2. Nancy Pearcey, Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes (Elgin, IL: David C. Cook, 2015), 2.
3. Ellen White, Steps to Jesus (Takoma Park, MD: Review and Herald®, 1981), 108.