By Linda Wegner
Not only are there dozens of kinds of filters (maybe hundreds but I’m guessing with caution), a filter can be a noun or a verb. So let’s start with the noun: a filter is defined as a porous device that is used to remove the impurities or solid particles from liquids or gases as they pass through it. The most common example for me is the fine mesh strainer I use to remove loose tea leaves each time I pour my favourite beverage.
Then there’s the verb: the process of living a life that quietly and gently exchanges love for hatred and peace for conflict. Whatever part of speech we use, a filter or filters keep our cars running smoothly, prevent bathroom sinks from clogging up, minimize dust in the air and allow us to see others as God sees them.
I particularly enjoyed our pastor’s morning sermon this week. “Don’t build your theology based on your experiences,” he admonished us and then went on to explain how often we do that. Dad was a scoundrel so we find it difficult to accept that God the Father is someone to be trusted. We see one church member engaging in immoral or unethical behaviour and we view them all with disdain. Using that noun, everything and everyone is judged by what we’ve been through in our life.
Think of the option, though: because we have received God’s grace we have the privilege of being a God-verb, of being that filtering process through which others can receive love and encouragement in place of pain – not because we’re better than them, but because God has freely blessed us.
“God, may my thoughts of You pass through the filter of Your word then let my life be a filter through which others may see you as the God who loves.”