I grew up on a farm. My mom loved horses so I grew up riding them and taking care of them. We spent so much time with our horses that I could go out to the pasture and jump onto my horse bareback with no bridle and just by using pressure from my legs and hands could ride him around. At least until he got tired of it and just stopped and ate grass. I don’t recommend doing that on just any horse, you may get more of a ride than you bargained for.
One time we rented out our pasture and barn to another horse. This horse was not raised like ours. We thought it was OK to put our horses together though. We thought our 4 horses would influence this 1 horse, but right away there was trouble. Fighting, biting, kicking. You could go to the pasture and call our horses and they would usually come down to you, now they would run away. We didn’t need much of a latch with our horses but now we had to get a heavy lock as this new horse was constantly trying to push on fences and gates to get out. The last straw was during a severe storm, our horses would always come into the barn but the new horse freaked out and started running around the pasture wildly. Our horses did the same and he charged the fence and ran right through it, severely injuring himself. In a severe thunderstorm with rain pouring down and wind blowing, we had to catch the horses, calm them down and bring them to the shelter of the barn. My mom called up her friend and there was a horse trailer there to take that horse away. We had had enough.
Last week was the start our of review of Psalm 1. We are allowing Psalm 1 to be our lens to look at our lives and the culture around us. Last week was our first statement. You and I live in world of right and wrong, good and bad, true and false. We do not live in a world of relativism where you and I get to decide what is right or wrong. No, God decides and we must humbly submit to our creator.
Here is statement #2 you and I are under the influence of everything and everyone around us. We live in a world of ideas that affects our character, our mind, and our heart. It is like if I asked everyone to talk at the same time. If you were standing here, how would it sound? All these voices would be bombarding you. You could not escape it. That is what is happening to you and I every day. All these ideas, all these voices, coming at us from all sides. Music, TV, apps, games, magazines, books, friends, teachers, even the principal.
Everyone has an idea about God and how He works in this world. These ideas about God and how He works is called a worldview.
Let’s think about how this works. First, everyone has a worldview, everyone has an idea about God and how He works in this world, so that means that every TV show you watch was written by someone with a worldview, everything you see on the computer has a worldview, every app on your phone or tablet, every song you hear, every book you read, every person you talk to, everything and everyone has an idea about God. Everything and everyone has a worldview. Even if you don’t believe in God, that is still an idea about God. It’s a worldview.
Have you ever thought about the worldview of the people who create things that you and I spend our time doing? For example, have you ever wondered what the creator of Minecraft’s worldview is?
The TV and movies that we watch show a worldview. I often see programs that show children who talk back to their parents with no consequence, they make it look clever to have sarcastic put-downs of one another, to be critical of one another, and finding ways to avoid work. Wearing all the right clothes, having a boyfriend or girlfriend, being popular and successful becomes what these shows promote as the most important thing to go after. All these come from a worldview.
We spend time on social media apps where it gives you a platform to make everything about you and how people respond to you. You begin to measure your self-worth on who likes you and how many likes you get. You begin to seek satisfaction in others and judge God’s goodness to you by how many online friends you have and how quickly they respond to you. Let me tell you, that is a very dangerous place to live. You are seeking from the creation only what the creator can give. What I mean is if you are looking for things in people, things that they cannot truly give you, when you should be seeking those things from God. He can satisfy you with the love and acceptance that we all are looking for. You will not find that on Instagram or Snapchat.
Even your friends have a worldview. Every friend you have speaks and acts from their worldview. What they believe or don’t believe about God will directly impact how they live their life. Psalm 1 says:
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
We must be aware of the counsel of the people and things around you. Their influence on our lives. Each of them calls to you, this is the way to think, you must desire this, this is what you should do.
Just like our horses were influenced by that 1 horse, we are under the influence of the things and people around us. It is like having all these people whispering into your ear giving you counsel on what you should do, what you should wear, what you should say, what you should think, who should be your friends. Do this, do that.
Psalm 1 alerts us to the subtle but progressive and growing influence of that counsel. The more time you spend with them, the more comfortable you become with them. It later becomes the place where your mind is living. You first walk, then stand, then sit. It is a gradual but growing influence on your life. Psalm 1 warns us about what we allow to influence ourselves. What you choose to spend time doing, will put you under its influence.
Statement #3 is you and I live in a world where our choices and behaviors come from a worldview. What this means is that everyone has a worldview, and that view of the world will result in what they choose to say, to think and to do. What ideas you believe will be directly linked to how you think and how you act.
Here is what Psalm 1 says about that. Verse 1 talks about the scornful. Another name for this person is a scoffer or mocker. This person is not passive, they are not neutral. They hold a worldview (whether they are aware of it or not) that has captured their heart. They hear about God, but they laugh at that idea. It is so far from anything they think is true. The heart of a true believer is not passive either. They find delight in truth. They desire to know that truth, to be a student in it, to be mastered by it.
The scornful, the mocker has a worldview. The true believer has a worldview. You are committed to a worldview and so am I. Does your worldview look more like the mockers or is it like a true believer?
If you think there is no god, like a mocker, and you want to live a life of your own desire and your own comfort, then there will be a set of behaviors that follow. If you delight in God’s will and His way, those desires will lead you to live in a way that pleases God. You can say you know God, but if your choices and actions are following your own heart, honoring yourself and not others, then you are really living more like the scornful. Your life is showing you what your true worldview is.
Just like how my families horses were influenced by just one horse, we all must be careful about what we are listening to, looking at, and spending time with. These are planting ideas and thoughts and desires that will shape our lives. Our worldview should be shaped by God’s word and we should be wanting to allow the Bible to change our heart to desire Him more and more. To honor others above yourself. We cannot do this on our own no matter how hard we try. We need Christ to change our hearts.