Our Worldview, Our Reality
Our worldview reflects how we choose to conceive the world, thus, it also influences our perception of reality. Moreover, our worldviews are the results of the influence of the external elements in our lives – childhood experiences, parental and peer influence, education, culture, society and religion – also our worldviews manifest in our beliefs, behavior and value systems, and therefore, affect our actions, choices or decisions, priorities and interactions in every aspect of our lives. Accordingly, under the worldview curriculum, we aim to become acquainted with ourselves through self-introspection so we can understand our worldviews and how it would influence our profession (Dockery & Thornbury, 2002). We may not realize or grasp the importance of doing so, but applying our worldviews in our learning will help us prepare ourselves and deal with real life situations in the workplace. Overall, understanding our worldviews by relating it to our chosen field would help us understand how we would make decisions, respond to a given situation, act around other people in the workplace and determine whether our responses and behavior are becoming to the Christian faith.
A hypothetical framework of worldview would put it at the center of everything we do because it represents the entirety of our being – who we are and who we intend to be, shaped by the circumstances and our experiences. Consequently, our circumstances determine what we are able to do and our experiences influence how we perceive our reality and thus, what we find valuable. Furthermore, our worldview tells us our purpose in this life, life goals and also it values good from bad. In turn, our worldview would influence how we deal with things inwardly and outwardly, how we should see and communicate with other people, handle problems and challenges, and deal with conflicts or disagreements.
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The Christian Worldview represents a perspective of the world and reality guided by the teachings of the Lord and the Word of God. Therefore, when applied to professional practice such as business, the Christian worldview helps us approach the business practice with the truthfulness, righteousness and moral responsibility becoming of a Christian and as expected from us by the Lord. Moreover, when we speak of having a Christian worldview, we acknowledge the role and presence of God in our reality. Serving Him becomes our priority and we aim to apply His word daily and in every aspect of our lives, including our careers, and He becomes the inspiration and influence in everything we do. Within the context of our profession, having a Christian worldview in the business industry means making God the center of our organization. While other businesses prioritize organizational success and monetary gain, approaching the business with a Christian worldview means defining “success” and “gain” in His own terms, which are devoid of worldliness and greed.
My Personal Worldview
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than ourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” Philippians 2:3-4. I aim to apply this thought in my career as an aspiring leader in the business industry. The world, although borne out of love and God’s desire to build a home for people and His other creations, transformed into a chaotic and disorderly place where sin and temptation are abound at every turn. I believe that as human beings, it is our duty to rebuild the world and transform it into a place where goodness abounds and where people, despite having free will, would always choose to do the right things. Therefore, we need good leaders who will not merely compel their followers to submission, but influence people to do good things and make the right decisions. “Where there is no governor, the people shall fall: but there is safety where there is much counsel” Proverbs 11:14. Accordingly, we need good leaders especially in the business industry where temptations are high due to the promise of power, fame and wealth. We need business leaders who will build organizations and make honesty, duty, responsibility, and public service their cornerstones, as well as keep harmonious and productive relations within the workplace and the community. “But select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens” Exodus 19:21.
Following a Christian worldview is also important in helping us to cope with problems and challenges we encounter in our personal and professional lives. Although depraved acts and decisions would have the undesirable consequences, I do believe that we do not simply encounter problems because we are corrupt human beings. Whether we do good or bad things, we will always encounter obstacles along the way. Problems are a natural part of life that challenge us and test our strength and faith, and consequently, will allow us to become better people once we overcome them. The same concept applies to business organizations. A business organization has its strengths and would encounter opportunities that will help it to grow, but it also has weaknesses like any other organization and will face potential threats and problems. The result of such endeavors would depend on how we cope with these problems. Do we give up and give in to the temptation and take the easy way out at the expense of others? What do we do at the face of obstacles? Do we see it as an opportunity, a challenge or a barrier? Having a Christian worldview gives us the necessary tools to overcome them because the answer to our problems, whether personal or professional, is patience, strength and will – the patience to endure it, the strength to face it and the will to overcome it.
Developing Business Policies: A Christian Worldview
“With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with a skillful hand” Psalm 78:72. Business leaders should exhibit uprightness when developing and implementing business policies for an organization. The development of the organization’s mission and vision, for instance, should reflect good intentions and take into consideration not only the organization’s development but also how business processes and outcomes could contribute to the community and society. “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly” 1 Peter 5:2. If we are honest with ourselves, we acknowledge that we do expect to establish our career and make a living. However, being a Christian means balancing our desire for personal gain with our responsibility to God, other people, and the community. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” 1 Peter 4:10. Moreover, business strategies must also demonstrate good morals, so that these strategies will not aim to put down other organizations, but to compete against them on a healthy and constructive level so as to contribute to the growth of the industry as a whole.
An organization’s ethical practices are represented by its policies in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As an organization, being socially responsible means taking responsibility for business processes and outcomes and defining these processes so than this organization would lead to productive outcomes that help society (Wong & Rae, 2011). Understanding market conditions, for instance, should involve implementing marketing and strategic development practices that are truthful and sincere and clearly take into consideration the needs of market segments. The organization must also aim to provide goods and services that meet the needs of target markets, promote these products with honesty and sell them at a fair price. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” Proverbs 31: 8-9. Furthermore, the organization’s primary concern must mirror the willingness and eagerness to set an example of becoming an inspiration for people and other organizations to do good and setting high standards of good practice in the industry (Rae, 2009). Within the organization, Christian leaders must also nurture a work environment that encourages uprightness in all practices. Business policies and practices must sway people into making good decisions, not only within but also outside the organization.
Integrating our Christian worldview in business practices, however, must be consistent. We cannot aim for uprightness within the organization when ourselves we do not apply the Word of God in our daily lives and exhibit dedication and commitment to do so. “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” Luke 16:13. Just as our worldview is at the center of our lives and dictates our purpose, values and life goals, so the Christian worldview should become the overarching philosophy that guides all business policies, processes and practices.