“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…”
2 Corinthians 5:17
I have an 18-year old grandson with Asperger Syndrome. He’s a brilliant young man. He’s also fun to be around, and so gracious and teachable. He does an amazing job of making friends despite his social awkwardness and diminutive physical size. He has difficulty at times relating to his peers. Yet, one thing governs how he sees himself — a worldview shaped by the Gospel. Here’s how I know.
His mother found a letter in his bedroom that he had written as a prayer at age sixteen. What he wrote then is still true for him now:
“Dear God, I don’t want to get confused as to what my identity is. I don’t want to think that I am nothing less than Your child, Creator of all things. I am a child of You, Lord, that is who I am. Likewise I don’t want to base my identity, my worth, on what other people think, but on what You think of me instead. And don’t let me forget how dependent I am on You either. This is who I, Corban B…., truly am. I’m a Child of God.”
Where did this come from? It came from a worldview he learned and embraced that gives him identity in the world in which he lives. He sees his world as one God created, and one we messed up. Yet, because of God’s grace, he knows he is child of the One who made him and loves him deeply. That’s his source of worth, identity and purpose.
That’s an expression of worldview. It matters to all of us. And I’m glad to know it still matters to him today.
A biblical, kingdom worldview provides the motivation for us, as believers, to engage the culture around us. Our world is shaped by a non-Christian worldview, which is why our worldview matters.
I believe because of his worldview, Corban (who’s name means “gift devoted to God”), will one be of those who will make a difference, and maybe God will use his ‘different-ness’ to make an impact in very powerful way.
Worldview is Not Optional
John Stonestreet, President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, says worldview is not optional. “It’s human,” he writes. “It’s as much a part of being alive as breathing is. We don’t decide whether we’ll engage the culture. Just how.”
Grandparents, does worldview matter to you? Does the worldview rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ shape how you see the world and engage with people in your world? Does it compel you to teach and encourage your grandchildren to discern and courageously engage this world? We can’t afford to hide our heads in the sand and ignore what’s going on around us. Only those who hold up the light will dispel the darkness. That’s why Jesus called us to let our light shine. It must not be hidden, but held high for all to see.
There are a number of tools available to help you have the conversations with your grandchildren about worldview–which is really a conversation about how we view life. Here are a few I would recommend:
- A Practical Guide to Culture by John Stonestreet
- The Story of Reality; and Tactics by Gregory Koukl
- Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side; and Talking with Your Kids About God by Natasha Crain
- The Secret Battle of Ideas About God by Jeff Myers
Check the Gospel Shaped Family web site for additional resources for young children.