Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We all wear glasses!

The glasses we all wear are the filters through which we view our world. Each one of us views the world different from the other, everything that is viewed or heard is seen through our own filters. We may share some common characteristics but the way we view the world is shaped by our upbringing, education, ethnicity, life experiences both joyful and painful and the list goes on. Most of the time we are not even aware of our own filters and we rarely think about other people’s filters.

For example: You can attend a church gathering with two other friends and you will have three very different reactions to the shared common experience. This is what baffles me all the time. One will say that the experience changed their life, while the other friend would fell that it was the worst day in church history on all accounts, and then there is your opinion. Did you all go to the same gathering? Of course, but what happened? They are looking through different filters.
So, what are the major filters that you look at life through? Is it a family filter, a parenting filter, a consumer filter, a relational filter even a church filter, just to name a few? Are you even aware of your filters? Or the filters of others?


Scott said...

I think it is apparent that there are many, many filters that we look through on a daily basis. There are so many variables that affect what we see and how we view it. Using the church example you provided, you can make the assertion that if your pissed off going in, you will a different attitude about the sermon, going out. It is same with varying emotions. I wonder how many good bits of wisdom we miss out on because of the attitudes that affect what we are watching or hearing.

Then again though, sometimes the variables of filters make things better then they actually are. They also help us get something big out of something that isn't so significant.

It's hard to nail down my own filters, because i would say i have so many of them based upon my emotional state at the time.

Chris L said...

I think it's important to seek the "Jesus filter" (not just in church services but in our normal, going to work/school, walking around everyday life).

We need to ask ourselves "What did God want me to get out of that service?"; "If I didn't enjoy it, why not? Did it actually hit closer to home than I wanted?"; "If I did enjoy it what should I be doing about it, how can I bless someone with what I have learned?".

The filters we do have make us unique, with unique opinions, but they are also man-made filters in many respects and therefore subject to time and circumstances - they can get dirty, fogged up/cloudy, can be scratched and sometimes painful to wear - often forcing us to see things incorrectly. We have to be careful not to let them cloud the bigger picture of reaching the lost for Christ and helping people experience a deeper relationship with Christ. We need to re-focus beyond the filters trying to see situations/people as Christ does.

CriticalDreams said...

Ah... filters.

We “see” as we believe ourselves to be. I started the Living Waters program but a week ago. On Saturday, October 4th, I learned that God loves me. Not only does he love me, but he LOVES me, desperately and passionately.

See, I'd always known in my somewhat intelligent mind that he loves me, but my heart didn't follow-through because I didn't feel worthy enough to experience such love.

Through prayer, confession and reflection on my life, part of my past was healed and in a tenderly painful moment before the cross, God spoke to me and said that I've never been alone. In the moments of my life (and I mean all of them, with memories starting at age 4), He's been delighting in me! When my earthly father couldn't, my heavenly father did!

How did I not have known this before you ask? I had the “I’m unloved and unworthy” filter on. Through my experience of important people neglecting and abandoning me, why would I think that God would be any different? You could easily answer that the truth of the Word would have told me otherwise…but what then do people think when they’ve never had anyone SHOW them that love before? How easy is it to believe in the best, when this life teaches us to believe the worst?

So, there's just one example of me living life with an unhealthy filter created out of the experiences that taught me that I was alone. Opening my heart in a vulnerable way allowed Christ to touch it and tell me the truth. God has no filters, He simply IS.

And oh, what freedom I've found in it!