A paradigm is a framework containing basic beliefs, methodology, and assumptions. Have you given much thought to your paradigm lately?
Most of us probably aren’t sitting around pondering our worldview. It’s just there. We take the poor thing for granted and treat it as if it’s a byproduct of who we are, but perhaps there’s more to the old paradigm than meets our philosophical eye.
Perhaps, for most, the paradigm isn’t the sum of their own beliefs, but rather, it is the result of the slowly creeping, deep-seated ideas of the world at large.
You’ve heard about the frog in the pot, right? If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, he will jump right out of there, but if you toss him into a comfy pot and slowly turn up the heat, he will never know what hit him.
I’m starting to think we are the frog, and this world in which we live is a very misleading pot of water.
Just think about it for a minute.
We go about our lives—attend school, get a job, find a spouse, follow a religion, pay our taxes, and “strut and fret upon the stage” until we’re heard of no more.
How often do we think about the motions we go through?
I’m convinced that most voters don’t usually investigate their choices. They take what they hear as truth and vote accordingly. They don’t think for themselves.
And I bet a majority of God-fearing Christians hardly give a thought to spending hours watching shows and listening to music that is directly opposed to their beliefs. It’s a cultural norm, and just because they watch/listen doesn’t mean that’s who they are, right?
We stand tall in our silent beliefs never noticing how the winds of the world wear away the very parts of us that make us different from all those who do not know the truth, nor believe in an all-powerful and loving creator.
Do you know how the term “Designated Driver” came to be used? Before the 80’s, it didn’t exist. A group of researchers wanted to encourage drinkers not to drive, so they started a campaign and employed TV producers to work the term into their shows. Starting in 1988, the term and concept of a designated driver was worked into more than 160 primetime episodes over four seasons. It was subtle, and it changed the way a nation thought about drinking and driving.
That was a good thing, but what other ways of thinking have become commonplace and accepted simply because it appears like the rest of the world is abiding by some unwritten rule? I can think of a few—living together before marriage, teen promiscuity, alcohol use, Christianity being a religion and not a relationship, and the tacit acceptance of a broken government.
Those beliefs shift the paradigm bit by bit until they become the norm and the person who abstains from alcohol, stays a virgin until marriage, and who has an active, real relationship with the almighty God is an anomaly.
Where are you in all of this?
As Americans, our heritage is built on the backs of people who didn’t accept the norm. And as Christians, this pot of heating water will never be our home.
Maybe it’s time to shift the paradigm back.