“Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.” – Psalm 34:12-16
In the United States we don’t think too much about water. There is not that much to think about. You turn on the faucet, and voila, clean clear water. It is something we should not take for granted because the value of water is unquestionable. But in order for us to consume it, it usually needs to be filtered. Water can contain dirt, minerals, chemicals and other impurities that make it potentially dangerous to your health. Microscopic organisms and bacteria can cause serious illness. Filtering water can help purify water, removing these impurities and making it safe to drink.
Followers of Jesus Christ need filters as well. We live in a pretty polluted world. You don’t have to look too far or too hard to find impurities. As followers of Jesus Christ, we face the challenge of living in it, without being a part of it. “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” (John 17:14-16). But how is that even possible? Well, in simplest terms: a filter.
We need filters for what we say, what we see, and most importantly what we are thinking. And God describes this filter in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This verse will help filter what comes into your mind, and will also help filter what you choose to think about, filter how you look at people and interpret events.
The Bible is filled with all the information we need to construct the perfect filter in our lives, keeping sin away from us and allowing the good in life to come through untainted. That filter requires continued maintenance, meaning we need to look at it every day. We need to compare our lives to what God recorded for us and make sure the two match up.
- How can filters impact our thinking and our actions?
- What’s one change you could make this week to put effective filters in place?