A Simplistic Parable About Worldviews

I’m occasionally befuddled by the simplicity with which large portions of the planet’s population seem to thrive. I’m reminded of Socrates: “The unexamined life is the life not worth living”. I think he was being extreme, but the fact remains: if a life (or a worldview) is not examined, one cannot realistically expect consistent success, right? One wonders.

Along the same lines, Paul has much to say about examining one’s worldview. When commenting on the essential doctrines of the Christian faith (Eph 4:4-6), he says that we are to be built up in these essentials “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (v14) One cannot follow Paul’s path without examining one’s worldview. But how do we convince someone indifferent to philosophy that these matters are important? I run into this barrier quite often when I’m in Africa.

Perhaps this parable will help.


Every man has a philosophy of life. Tell me – what is your philosophy of life?

Every man has a home for living. Tell me – what is your home?

* One man said “I have no home! I cannot accept visitors!”. So I followed him and saw that at night, he slept under a tree. The tree protected him from the sun, but did not protect him from the rain, animals or bandits. The tree was his home. He had no table or chairs and only the clothes on his back.

* Another man said “I have no home. I am a refugee, and I cannot accept visitors! I live in a tent I did not make. I eat food I did not harvest. I wait for someone to bring me my necessities each day. If someone else does not provide these things for me, I will surely die.”

* Another man said “Please be my guest. Come to my home. I have built a simple home, made of sticks and mud. It protects me from the sun, rain and animals. But it is weak and does not protect me from bandits. But I can accept visitors, and you will be welcome to eat my food. “

* Another man said “Please be my guest. I have built a strong home, made of cement and metal. It protects me from rain, animals and bandits! You will be safe if you visit me.”

* Another man said “Come to my home. I can accept very many visitors, for I made my home very large and very strong. I made it of cement and metal, and I put many fine luxuries of gold and silver in it for me to share with many visitors. If you come to my home, you will be well taken care of.”


Your philosophy of life is like your home.
Every man has one.

Some ignore their philosophy and think it is not important (they are like the man living under a tree, unprotected).
Some accept any philosophy from anyone and do not think for themselves.
Some have a simple philosophy, and can serve very few people with simplicity.
Some have a strong philosophy, able to serve people with simplicity.
Some have a powerful philosophy, able to serve many people with depth and strength.

What is your philosophy of life?
Do you seek to make it stronger and deeper? Or do you ignore it?

I’m curious to see how this will fly with my African friends.



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