Can we change someone’s worldview? Yes. Maybe. Kinda. Sorta.
I sat in the line at the coffee shop this afternoon. Their espresso machine must be down again because the wait is longer than normal.
Suddenly, I noticed that my truck started to rock from side to side, not violently, but noticeable all the same. I looked up from my phone, looked around. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
I must be imagining things.
I went back to reading messages on my phone.
There, it happened again!
This time I was confident I felt the car rocking side to side. Looking around, still not seeing anything out of the ordinary, I got out of the car to look.
As I walked around to the back of the car, I noticed a beat-up sedan with more dents and dirt than I had seen in a long time. The car was parked so close behind me that the bumper was pressed firmly against the hitch of my truck.
“Well, that explains it,” I thought.
“Oh no! I did not hit your car ma’am!” came an angry voice out of the car window. I looked back and saw a woman with two young children in the car with her. It was obvious that she thought I wanted to fight with her.
“Why in the world is she yelling at me?” was my first thought when I decided to respond intentionally and not just react.
I replied in a soft tone, “Oh no! You didn’t hit my truck. You hit the hitch on my truck.” She wasn’t listening. She continued yelling. I smiled and gently said, “Ma’am, it’s okay. Everything is okay. I’m not mad.”
As I walked back to her car to talk with her, it was apparent that she was hot and tired. If her day had gone anything as her hair looked, she’d had a super rough day! The little girl in the back seat had as much dirt on her face as she did on her clothes. Still, her smile sparkled. The little boy, sitting up front in the passenger seat, had his body turned away from his mother. The mother didn’t make eye contact with me, but started to apologize and softened her voice.
I smiled then reassured her all was well and got back in my truck.
As I pulled up to the window, I told the barista that I’d like to pay for the car behind me. I drove away praying for the family in that beat-up sedan. I hope they saw that not everyone wants to fight.
Changing someone’s worldview won’t happen in one experience.
Still, it’s no reason for us not to look for opportunities to respond with thoughtfulness. Oh, I don’t get this right every day, I probably don’t even get it right most days.
The Scriptures remind me to use a soft word. It’s not always easy to do, but it is always beneficial.
A soft answer turneth away wrath:
But grievous words stir up anger.
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Pr 15:1). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
It’s easy for us to separate the worldview conversation from our daily choices. It’s our everyday decisions that reflect our worldview; they reflect our faith. Our thoughts, opinions, perspectives, and decisions are all based on our worldview. Just like our worldview reflects our relationship with Christ. Some have classified themselves as “worldview neutral.” The truth is, no one is worldview neutral. Every one of us expresses our worldview by the way we respond to situations around us.
It’s also important for us to remember, we’re not God. We don’t change hearts, open ears, or remove blinders from eyes; only God can do that. It may be impossible for us to change someone’s worldview, yet we can change the way they view us by our thoughtful responses. Lord willing, by His Spirit and our actions we can shatter faulty worldviews and lead people to Truth.
My challenge to all of us is that we slow down long enough to reply thoughtfully and not impulsively. Make sure we’re spending time in the Word and with friends who will cultivate more biblical conversations than conversations of the flesh. I want to be mindful of my words, thoughts, and actions to ensure they reflect the Truth I know. Let’s see how living out our faith can impact someone’s worldview to be more positive. I’m convinced it will have tremendous benefits for all of us!
Until our next chat,
Mrs. Joseph Wood
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