For our last assignment of Belhaven High Scholars we had to write a paper and do a presentation on our personal worldview. I thought you might like to see mine so here it is. The pictures are the powerpoint slides that I used in my presentation. I took all of the pics but the ones I am in.
One thing that defines a person the most is their worldview. Sometimes this worldview is well thought out and sometimes it is just a set of beliefs slapped together. My worldview is a culmination of my whole life so far. Over the years, I have developed a set of beliefs that I call my own. These beliefs have been shaped mainly by three things: my parents, my experiences, and most of all the Word of God. My parents were the first to introduce me to the Bible and before I could understand it fully, they explained the fundamental doctrines in simple terms. I took everything they told me and trusted that it was true; but then I gained more life experiences and with the experience gained a greater understanding of my beliefs. I started to study the Bible on my own and my worldview started to become as unique as I was.
I know that this is only the beginning of the development of my worldview. However, this beginning has given me the central beliefs off of which to base everything else. The last fifteen years or so have been crucial in determining the direction of my life. They have laid the foundation for my future, given me direction, and allowed me to discover a purpose greater than myself—and this is only the first leg of the journey! Along the way, the basics will stay the same but I hope to gain a greater understanding of my worldview through more insight from other people, life experiences, and a deeper study of the Bible.
What is Rebekah’s Ultimate Reality?
The Ultimate Reality sets the stage for your whole worldview. I believe in the triune God of the Bible who is omniscient, perfect, holy, righteous, just, omnipotent, and forgiving (to give you the short list). I believe that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God and that He was sent to redeem the world of sin through his death and resurrection. My favorite way of looking at God is that He is my constantly unchanging Comforter, Friend, and Joy-Giver. These attributes became very real to me about six years ago.
My five cousins live about fifteen minutes away. At the time my Uncle Kurt was on a business trip to Colorado. One day, my grandmother, Gran, was babysitting my brothers and I. Suddenly, Gran gets a call sending all of us into a panic. Uncle Kurt has died of a pulmonary embolism. Everyone was dumbstruck, how could he be living one second and dead the next? He had five kids all under the age of ten at home, how was Aunt Kari going to manage? That was November of 2003. We got through that time only with the Lord’s help. Then another opportunity for growth was sent our way.
In March, Poppy, Gran’s husband and Uncle Kurt’s dad, went to the emergency room for a pain in his side. When they did the ultrasound, we found out that it was colon cancer that had metastasized to the liver. Poppy started treatment and then started to have seizures; the cancer had spread to his brain. In November of 2004, only 346 days after Uncle Kurt’s death, Poppy went to be with the Lord.
During that year, I experienced many emotions; sadness, loneliness, fear, etc. But through it all, I knew God was with me. My favorite verse before that time was Joshua 1:9 which says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not tremble or be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This verse became very real to me. In the midst of all the turmoil, God affirmed me that He was there. He gave me strength to make it through, joy to counter the pain, and peace that He is bigger than any of life’s troubles. Even though this is only a small part of the character of God, it is what I enjoy most about Him.
What is Rebekah’s nature of the world?
I think nature is God’s most beautiful way of revealing himself to us. It can be calm and peaceful or powerful and mighty. It can take life or give it. Sometimes when I go outside, I am in awe of how beautiful God is. The world portrays His majesty and though it sometimes scares us, it is for His glory. The world is something to be enjoyed, studied and taken care of; it is a place to bring glory and honor to God.
I believe that the world was created by God in six days. It was made to glorify himself and was perfect. However, now after sin, it is fallen and imperfect. I believe that there is a spiritual dimension to the world as well as a physical one. It is full of evil and can sometimes be a scary place. Yet God is still in control and He uses the world to reveal Himself to mankind. It is like a stage on which God’s plans are enacted.
What is Rebekah’s view of humanity?
Man is the crown of God’s creation. He is created in God’s image, fallen because of sin and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Because man is created in God’s image, every life is valuable and precious. There is a spiritual as well as physical dimension to man. His body is physical and temporary but his soul will live forever. Man is naturally depraved and sinful; he wants to rebel against the boundaries set for him. Like the young St. Augustine in Confessions who stole the apples not because he was hungry but because he wanted to.
I believe that man’s purpose is to glorify God. Man fulfills this purpose in three areas. First of all, by fulfilling the cultural mandate of Genesis 1:28, man follows God’s commands to “be fruitful and multiply” as well as to “fill the earth and subdue it.” Secondly, man glorifies God by “making disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19). Lastly, when man reflects God in all areas of his life, he glorifies God.
Although I hope to glorify God in all areas of my life, there is one in particular in which I hope to implement these three things—ballet. When I was two years old, my parents took me to the Nutcracker. After the show I said “I want to be her” as I pointed to the girl who danced the role of Clara. Needless to say, after that I was hooked. Since then, I have become more and more serious about my dancing. God has shown me how to use ballet wherever I am to glorify Him. Just recently, God has led me to pursue a career as a professional dancer. He has shown me that I have a gift and that I am to use that gift to be a light in a dark world. Most importantly, he has taught me to dance for an Audience of One. Though my life is only a small part of God’s creation, I hope to use it to make His name great and to encourage others to do the same.
What is Rebekah’s basis for morality?
When I was little, my basis for morality was the rules that my parents had set out for me; tell the truth, respect your authorities, etc. As I got older, I realized that we should not follow rules because our parents tell us to but because they are there for a reason. I also realized that these were not rules that man made up but rules that were given to us by God himself.
According to the Bible, the basis for morals is God’s standard of perfection. Sin is falling short of this standard. I believe that God’s standard is absolute and impossible to achieve on my own. Even though it is hopeless to achieve perfection, God provides a guidebook to help us along the way. Psalm 119:105 says the Bible is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” meaning it gives direction. Psalm 119:11 speaks about the power of scripture to help us not to sin.
The ultimate example of the perfect morality is found in Jesus. He is the perfection to strive towards; the embodiment of a flawless life. Though as humans we cannot meet the standards of perfection, we can base our morals on the Bible and strive for perfection. By following Jesus’ example we can grow closer to God and live an enjoyable life.
What is Rebekah’s purpose for society?
Society is the place in which we act out our beliefs. I believe that the purpose for society is basically the purpose of humanity on a larger scale—to glorify God. I believe that as a Christian, I am called to work alongside other Christians to be lights in the darkness and hope for our dark world. The painting “Starry Night” by van Gogh reminds me of a great visual for this concept. The world is made of the blues and greens and Christians are like the stars that work together to illuminate the little town. Christian society’s goal is to make God’s name great by reaching out to people in our sphere of influence with the love of Jesus Christ.
When my parents got married, they wanted our family to be a “family on a hill.” We adopted Matthew 5:14 as our family verse to remind us to use our influence for God’s glory. Through this, God has instilled in me as well as my family a desire to use the leverage we hold to point people to God. I hope to do this by mentoring younger girls. One person that I think did a great job of using her influence for God’s glory is Margaret Thatcher. It really encouraged me to see someone who was living for God step into the public eye and stand firm for her beliefs. She is an example to Christians of how we should leverage our influence; calmly but firmly and gently but forcefully.
Over the past two years, I have learned how to organize my worldview in a way that was easy to understand. I knew what I believed but it was not arranged in an orderly fashion. With High Scholars, I learned the worldview indicators and everything became easier to articulate. In history, I enjoyed analyzing the worldviews of other cultures and seeing how their worldviews affected their decisions. Also, this helped me to realize how great our God is. It made me grateful that He is not like the gods of Mesopotamia who are all moody and capricious or like the Deistic god who is uninvolved. In Literature, I especially enjoyed analyzing the texts and seeing how what the author said on the surface really had a deeper meaning and intention. It showed me that your worldview can be subtle or blatant but is always there. The Culture course I showed me that your worldview permeates everything. Every piece of art from advertising to altar pieces, modern art to minarets, tells the viewer something about the artist. Overall, High Scholars has given me a greater understanding of my own worldview and has better equipped me to serve God in the world today.
I think the main point of my worldview is to glorify God in everything that I do. As a child of God I hope to be a living testimony of His greatness. It is by His grace that I am alive and only through Him am I able to bring Him glory. He never ceases to amaze me with His blessings and I am thankful to be a part of His plan. Though the basics of my worldview will stay the same, I know that I will gain a greater understanding as I go through life. This is only the beginning and I am looking forward to what God has in store. “Now to the King, eternal immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).