This week I’ve been thinking about filters. I know, sounds weird, right? Normally the only time I think about filters in when the guy from the oil change place comes in and shakes out a dirty air filter in my lap and tells me that I need a new one because this one is dirty. I always fight the strong urge to let him know that actually now I don’t need a new one because he has just cleaned the old one out on top of my dress pants. Thanks.
Maybe some of you are thinking that I lost my filter right there. Filters are used to keep the bad things out of the good things. They keep the sludge and filth out of the nice clean things we like so much. And I’m sure that air filter does something important, I’m just not the kind of girl who really cares about exactly how it works. Just put it on my tab, oil change guy.
Actually, the filters I’m talking about here today are the ones that we set up for the things that we say. The filter our brain develops over time. You know the ones. The filter that catches that curse word right before it reaches your teeth. The filter that keeps you from telling someone what you really think. The thing is, I’ve seen someone’s filter disintegrate quite a few times this week as my Granddad has struggled with general advanced age problems and sickness. And it got me to thinking…
Where do those thoughts come from? A lot of times you hear someone saying that it’s the “disease” but I’ve got to think that some of those thoughts are coming from somewhere, it’s just that the “disease” eats your filter. Let's just admit that all of us have experienced breach of filter moments in our own lives. It’s like someone has taken down our carefully placed screen and opened a not so flattering window into parts of our brains that maybe we didn’t even know about. Here’s what I’m getting at: God sees right through our carefully placed filter. He tells Samuel this in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
Yikes. That means God sees the parts of me that even I don’t like to look at. And you know what? My filter might be akin to the emperor’s newest fashion statement when it comes to how God sees me, but now, thanks to My Jesus, I have a covering. In the words of singer songwriter JJ Heller, “I am painted red” by the blood of Jesus and that’s what God sees when He looks at me now. So yeah, I’m a mess. That’s not to say that I want continue to be – The Apostle Paul said that of course(!) we don’t take that grace as a license to sin and I’m with him on that – it’s just to say that once again, the grace that Jesus pours out on me freshly every morning is so much more than I drink in and when I get a little glimpse of another drop of it, my cup overflows.