Skip to main content

What's that filter for?

I am going to issue a challenge this morning - just a little one to ask each of us to consider something we may not have really considered before. How would others describe you? Who would they say you are? Would they describe you by your title, such as a great pastor, a good teacher, a talented musician? Would they describe you as the one who is aloof, too sensitive, or kind of timid? Would they say you were the one always bragging about your greatest accomplishments? There are lots of ways to describe someone, aren't there? Yet, the toughest thing to ask someone is to be genuine about who they really think we are! It might not be as comfortable as we'd like to think!

When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:13-15 MSG)

How others see you is important. Who they see you as in "reality" is very revealing - maybe a little too revealing! Quite some time ago, I realized I was putting up a good front in life - always showing others what I was comfortable allowing them to see about me. I never wanted them to know the 'real me', maybe because I wasn't very proud of some of the things I struggled with, such as my temper, my fears, or my insecurities. Many times we want the closeness of a 'real relationship', but we don't know how to get to the point of actually allowing others to see us. Maybe we really need to take a lesson from Jesus here - people will see us through various filters - because they somehow apply those filters to help there own true selves from being seen by others!

Jesus ask who others say he is and he receives a variety of answers, doesn't he? Some see him as the one prophesied about so long ago - the one who would 'precede' the coming deliverer of their nation. Others see him as a great prophet, while others see him as a religious zealot kind of bent on dividing a nation. It is amazing that all these people could see the exact same life lived out in front of them and then come to such different conclusions about who he is. They witnessed his miracles and some said he was a prophet, while others said he was of the devil. They saw his humble beginnings, born the son of a carpenter, and viewed him as unable to truly understand or teach scripture, yet he was 'spot on' each time he shared any of the Old Testament truths with them.

Others see us through filters - the filters that help them, not necessarily us. Filters are meant to block something out. We use a filter in our coffee pots because none of us likes to chew our coffee! We use filters in our air and heating units so dust is captured and not recirculated through the air. We use a filter in our dryers because lint isn't becoming on our clothing. Filters remove something that is definitely there, but we don't necessarily want to deal with. We don't want the grinds in our coffee, nor the dust or pollen in our air. We don't want these things - so we create filters to block them from 'getting at us'. In reality, whenever we 'filter' our lives, we are just saying we are trying to keep others from dealing with the unpleasant stuff in us that really is there, but we aren't comfortable having anyone else deal with it other than us!

Since we apply filters in our own lives, we often 'apply' those filters in the lives of others, seeing them as we have 'filtered' them to be. This may not really help us in the long run because it could just be the things that are filtered out are really the things we need others to help us deal with and remove for good! Jesus didn't apply filters - he lived openly and he saw others in the same way he lived his life. Maybe it is time for us to do the same. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean