In the next few posts I am going to do some personal reflections. Will they be objective; of course not, after all they are personal to me and where I am in my life right now. If I am nothing else I am compassionate about things I truly believe in! I don’t pretend to have answers to the questions I have but I am constantly seeking wisdom from God’s word, particularly the red letters.
Here is my first observation:
There seems to be two basic types of worldviews around today.
- I am the master of my fate: I am in control of my life. I am accountable for everything that happens to me. If I run into an obstacle it is up to me and me alone to overcome it. Therefore everything that I accomplish and any wealth I accumulate is mine and mine alone. Do not tax it or take it away from me to give to others who do not deserve it. I alone deserve it and I don’t need to share it with those who were not as strong as I am. They are failures; I am a success. They need to pull themselves up like I did.
- There but for the grace of God go I (I paraphrase this as “Shit Happens”) – Many things that happen in my life are really out of my control. Prosperity primarily depends on where you were born. How you grew up and the opportunities that were given to you. It is up to those who had better opportunities and therefore prospered to have compassion on those less fortunate than themselves. We must share the prosperity that we have gained. It is not ours alone.
I’m sure that there are people who call themselves Christians in both of these camps. But, I personally am in the second group. For at least the last several years I seem to be constantly thinking about those on the margins of society in the US and around the world. If I had not been born to a lower middle class family in the Midwestern United States I could be spending all my current time just trying to survive from day to day. After all, this is typical with almost half the present world’s population. Instead I have plenty to eat, a nice place to live and not many worries (except for the self made and often self centered kind). We people in the western societies need to be reminded more often just how easy we have it.
I would not even attempt to guess what the percentage of Christians are in each of these groups. But, what does the Bible say about these two worldviews? I think I need to study on this some but I have a general idea that group 2 is closer to the way the Lord intends us to live and I will continue to strive to be in that group.
One thought on “Two Types of Worldviews…”
I got the below comment from an untraceable source (IP only) so I will copy it here instead of directly approving it.
Here it is:
Where did you get the idea that “almost half the present world’s population” is “just trying to survive from day to day,” whereas most Americans are not? I work at a hotel with co-workers originally from the Netherlands, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, and Nicaragua, among others. Their descriptions of their native lands bear no resemblance to your characterizations.
An infinitely greater evil than any you have described is the slander of people as “greedy” because they dare to resist government attempts to confiscate their hard earned income in taxes, and are bold to assert that the so-called “needy” are just as much required to help others and tell the truth as the so-called “rich.”
Response to this post:
As to where I get the idea that half of the world’s population lives from day-to-day. here is the source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_inequality
This info states that 42% of the world’s population earns less than 9% of the average US citizen. That works out to about $80/week. If you look at the bottom 25% it is around $12/week. I don’t know if you think living on $80 a week is not living day-to-day but surely you agree that the 25% living on 30 cents/hour is.
I did not mean to insinuate that there were no Americans living day-to-day. Of course there are. Probably a much larger percentage than most would believe.
I would guess from your comments that you are in group 1 of my list. You did not identify yourself as a Christian and did not try to justify your response through Christian principles so I will refrain from labeling you as such.
I did not define anything as “evil”. Taking that word off the table, yes I do agree that even the less fortunate among us also have a duty to help others and to tell the truth. I don’t think my message inferred that that was not the case but evidentally you took it as such and for that I apologize. Jesus said we must all be our brother’s keeper. He did not put a dollar figure on that requirement. But the reality is that those in the U.S. making less than $18,000/year give almost three times the percentagle of their income than those making more than $100,000/year. So, those less fortunate are indeed helping others.
But I didn’t mention anything at all about government “confiscating your hard earned income” as taxes. I know that is a sore point for many and it sounds like you are in that category. Do you believe in taxes for road, fire and police? Are you against all taxes or just those that are spent on the elderly, poor, and such?