Tuesday 6 November 2012

But why?

This is probably one of the most frustrating questions that a child can ask his/her parents. "But why mummy?!" comes from the 7 year old's mouth, as they seek to learn more about the world. Sometimes, for the child it might be that they've just learned the word and they've found that it can be used for anything and everything (more to the annoyance of the parents). Other times, they may be genuinely seeking the reasons why things are there. This is a frustrating question, therefore, not because we don't value our children's education and development, but because we often have not challenged ourselves on the questions that they're asking. The cop-out answer then comes "because I said it so. End of discussion."

David Hamilton is teaching us this week on God's view on leadership. Last night he gave a talk on the belief tree. The elements of the tree need to match-up in order for us to have integrity with our walk with God. This means that our worldview, beliefs, values, principle-based decisions/policies and actions need to all compliment each other, not contradict each other.

It can be seen as layers in alignment too:

Foundation/soil: Worldview - what we believe/assume is real
Roots: Beliefs - What we understand to be true
Trunk/body: Values - what we understand to be good
Branches: Principle-based decisions/policies - what we believe is right
Fruit: Actions - what we believe is wise to do

Each time a 'why' question is asked, it uncovers a layer in our belief tree. By answering honestly the question why, we verbalise and expose our own understanding and belief system at the different layers. This is a great excercise to do, to challenge ourselves and others.

For example: I lock my door to my house when I go out. [Action]

So that nobody else can get in [Principle-based Decision]

Why do you not want anyone else to get in?
I don't want the things in my house to be stolen. [Values - stewardship of resources]

Why don't you want your stuff to be stolen?
Because these are things that we need and God has given us these things to steward and care for. [Belief - everything is God's]

Why would someone steel the stuff God has given you to look after?
Because it has value and they want it for themselves. [worldview]

This can be done for any action that you do. As I look to do this, I'm discovering that many of my actions are not in alignment with the values and beliefs that we learn through a biblical worldview. A key way of identifying this, is to stop yourself when you answer "I know I should do x, y or z, but I don't". By asking these questions, children are subtly testing our belief and worldview system. If ours doesn't match-up with biblical principles for life, then we can either deny it and ignore the question, or seek to repent of our lack of integrity and seek to put ourselves back on track by changing our ways.

I can see that Slingshot is going to be a tough course!