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How are you defined?

One of the fundamental flaws of Western Christianity is its worldview.

When most people use the term worldview, they mean one of a number of philosophies about the origina and nature of the world. We sometimes refer to the secular worldview or the theistic worldview.

This is not how I am using this term.

By worldview, I mean the way we think of ourselves in the world. What are human beings primarily defined by?

Due to its use as a national/imperial agent of power over the centuries, western Christianity views the world through the lens of sin. Everything is defined by sin.

  • We are born into sin.
  • We must be saved from sin.
  • We must be careful that we don’t fall into sin.

The list could go on. Our entire universe is defined by sin. Because of this bias, we tend to take a negative, reactionary view on everything.

While the Scriptures certainly speak of sin and take it quite seriously, I do not think this is what should define us.

We should be defined by Jesus Christ.

  • We are raised to new life by Christ’s resurrection.
  • We are saved by being in Christ.

Where Christ has the true primacy, there is no room for sin. It becomes immediately visible and known. Christ truly is the light that brings life to all men.

When I was a kid, I used to mow our church’s 3.5 acre lot with my father. The church owned two Snapper ride-on mowers like the one below. My dad would ride in front, and I would follow behind.

The first couple times that we mowed, his lines were nice and straight but mine were all over the place. There were pieces of grass left standing all over the place. He stopped his mower and said, “Son, stop looking at the grass. Watch me. See where I am going and then focus on that. Just follow me.”

We hopped back on the mowers, and I looked forward. His mower was about 20 feet ahead of mine. I lined up my front right tire in the groove left by his left rear tire and then looked at his mower. Mentally, I drew a straight line out to the edge of the yard, and I drove toward it. When we were finished that line, we stopped. I looked back to see two perfectly straight paths mowed in the grass.

Rather than looking down right in front of my mower, and trying to adjust for every little possibility, I first looked to the leader and saw where he was going, and then I focued on his goal rather than the little bumps and swerves in front of me.

This is how we should be defined by Christ. Rather than trying to adjust and shift for every possible little sin that might pop up its head, we should be looking to Christ – he is the author and finisher of our faith after all – and seeing where he wants to take us.

We should not be defined by sin, but by Christ.


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