People see things differently.
Let’s say a boy is raised in a home. He develops a paradigm, an idea for the typical pattern of things, such as how a family works. Another boy, raised in another home, also has a paradigm for how a family works, but it’s different because his family is different. Now let’s say that a boy with a paradigm meets a girl with a paradigm. They fall in love and get married. Unwittingly, each of them brings their paradigm to the marriage and applies it to the new household. Eventually, this causes miscommunication, confusion, and frustration. They are unprepared for the clash that the application of differing paradigms can bring. For the family to flourish, each must learn to bring their paradigms in line with one another so they can function in harmony.
God has a paradigm. He spells it out for us in his Book and we can plainly see it working around us. He created all things and therefore set the standard for the typical pattern of how things work within that creation. When God’s creation is operating within that pattern, there is harmony; in fact, everything within God’s creation complies with his paradigm – except humanity. People, the very creatures he made in his image, are constantly out of compliance with his paradigm. Our paradigms clash with his all the time.
God’ desire is for us to conform to his paradigm and be in harmony with him. Paul illustrates this beautifully in Romans 12. The whole chapter is wonderful, but in verses 1 and 2, he tells us specifically:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
When we are in harmony with God, our life is meaningful, structured, and right. Does your paradigm clash with God’s? If so, I urge you to find the reasons why, remove them, and bring yourself in line with him. When you do, the peace and satisfaction that comes from sharing life with him with fill your soul, strengthen your spirit, and shine the light of Christ onto a dark and thirsting world.