• on July 25, 2016

Words: Narrative and Worldview

by Daniel Burton
by Daniel Burton

As we have looked at our words we have seen the power that they hold. The old adage of “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” frankly just isn’t true. Words have the power of life or destruction based on what we represent with them. When we misuse our words and misrepresent Christ by what we say, our words can have a lasting effect on a person and shape the narrative of their life.

For many years, and to an extent, even now, I had body issues from the words of a coach that constantly reminded me of how big I was. Looking back at my high school pictures, I can see now that I wasn’t nearly as overweight as I previously thought. Through their words and the worldview they held, they constructed a narrative.

Our narrative should fuel our worldview, yet often times we reverse the two.  Instead of shaping our worldview based on reality, we attempt to shape our worldview by telling a specific narrative. Nowhere is this more clear than during an election year. We see people who have already decided their reality and speak their story based on the confirmation bias of everything that supports their worldview. Pundits twist facts to match the story they want to tell.  Situations are spoken of based on the ideas they already hold.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

-James 3:9-12

Narrative and WorldviewOur words should match the reality of the God who changed our life.  What we say should reflect that reality.  The narrative of God in our lives should shape our worldview. The words we use stem from our worldview and our worldview should be shaped by the narrative of a Christ-centered story told throughout our lives. Jesus is truth.  When we speak the truth and tell our true story, we declare the story of Jesus Christ and represent the hope to the world.

Shape Your Worldview in Christ

Previously, we talked about Christ as the source of truth.  If we are trying to establish the way we see the world in the truth, we must root our story in the person of Jesus Christ. Our outlook should not reflect the hopelessness and hatred that the world so easily wants to spread. But our narrative rests in the love and hope that comes from a loving God who gives us hope.

Narrative and WorldviewUnless the reality of Christ shapes our worldview, we will quickly descend into unbelief, hopelessness, and self-centeredness. Only an outlook of life that has its foundation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can we see the beauty of His creation and love for other people.

Tell The Gospel Narrative

The writer of Psalm 78 understands the important of sharing this story not only to those around them but also to keep the story going.  The story of what God does is vital for the survival of the people.  The story shows the people that God has been with them throughout history and will continue to do be with them.

We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

– Psalm 78:4, NIV

Narrative and WorldviewGod is weaving a story through the tapestry of our lives.  There is a greater story at work of Jesus’ divine intervention for the salvation of His people.  Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection provides us with a hope for the future.  We have a hope in the story of Jesus Christ told through history and through our personal lives.  Our words, instead of gossiping, lying, or cursing, can reveal what God is doing in our lives, bring glory to God, and reveal the hope of God to others.

Questions for Thought

What story does my life tell? What worldview do my words reflect through what I say?  Leave a comment below or email thegospeloutpost@gmail.com.

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