“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.” (Acts 18:9b NIV)
If ever there was a message you need in today’s culture, it’s this: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent” (Acts 18:9b NIV). In a world full of ideas and beliefs that go against God’s Word, God wants you to have an uncommon courage and stand up for what you know is true and right. Everyone else is speaking up and telling you their worldview every day. Why shouldn’t you stand up for what you believe?
To stand courageously, you have to know what the world believes and what God says is the truth. This is called a worldview — what you base your beliefs on. Everyone has a worldview. It is the lens through which you view life. Instagram is an online photo-sharing program that has these cool filters that make even a lousy picture look like something that belongs in a gallery. But it’s still the same lousy picture! Similarly, every person uses a different filter through which they see and understand the world. We may all be looking at the same event, but we will see it differently because of our conflicting worldviews.
Your worldview includes how you see God, yourself, others, the past, present, and future, money, time, good and evil. It influences everything in your life. Every time you make a decision, you access the worldview database in your mind and decide that, because I believe this, this is what I’m going to do. Your worldview influences every choice you make.
Here’s the problem: You are profoundly influenced by the worldviews of others. Every time you have a conversation, a worldview is being communicated. You are influenced by the worldviews of your parents, friends, an advertisement, or a newspaper article. Nothing is fair and balanced, because everyone has a worldview.
It is absolutely crucial, then, that you base your worldview on God’s Word, which is the only truth.
In a national survey, 62 percent of Americans claimed they are “deeply spiritual.” When asked how that spirituality affects their decision making, 31 percent said they make moral choices based on “what feels right and comfortable,” 18 percent on “whatever is best for me,” 14 percent on “whatever causes the least conflict with others,” and only 16 percent on “what God’s Word says.”
What does that mean? It means most Christians have a non-Christian worldview. You may be a Christian and headed for Heaven, but you can also have a non-Christian worldview because you’ve based it on what you’ve learned from the world and not from the Word.
Why is it important to stand up and speak the truth? Matthew 10:32 says, “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?” (MSG)
God is telling you to make a stand for his truth. Taking that kind of stand requires an uncommon courage that is only available through the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
Talk About It
What worldview do you think people would say that you have? Which of your everyday words and actions reflect that response?
How well are you growing in biblical knowledge so that you can take a stand for God’s truth?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.