Do You Have a Filter?

Paper Filters, right? Cone or basket? White or Brown?

coffee-collageWhen I was growing up the only coffee I knew anything came from a drip pot, or a percolator. Drip was the first, and somewhere along the way a percolator showed up. I’m not sure why the switch, but the drip was by far the easiest because the only thing it required was hot water, and you could get that from a pot on a camp fire, or on a burner in your home, and from any place that produced heat that water could be boiled from. The perc required electricity…

There was no filter that required a special purchase like most modern devices. The basket was made of perforated metal. You simply bought the grind that made the style of coffee you desired. Fine. Medium. Coarse. Perc’ or Drip.

Simple. Right?

Maybe… If all you are thinking about is coffee, then this about covers it. But if you are thinking about other arenas of life, then maybe you need to rethink it all. Again.

Early this morning I received a twitter message from a friend who stated:

Your perspective is influenced by the voices that speak into your life.

If this friend reads this, I did not name you because I had not asked for your permission to use your name…But your tweet made tremendous sense in light of my thoughts this morning!

My mind went down a rabbit trail of thinking about the elections, and I reigned my thoughts back in and  considered a lot of other important avenues of life that I am aware of today that relates. You can control your thoughts! You do not have to get lost on that trail that leads to endless circles!

We are easily influenced by the voices that we allow to speak into our life when we do not have a filter to screen out the bad from the good! A filter helps me to identify my values and is this voice speaking to my values, at the same time it turns away those words and ideas that speak directly against the foundation by which I live. I mean, how can each statement speaking into our lives be factual, good and true, when the opposite voice describes something different and declares it to be factual, good and true.

Now. I can remove the filter while you and I have a discourse about something so that you speaking the opposite of my perspective does not get filtered out. But when I re-install that filter for regular living then I am in control of what I allow into my world. That unfiltered discourse does not change who I am. It only allows you and me to discuss another point of view.

Without a filter then we get clogged with all kinds of weirdness!

Water Filter
Water Filter

I have a filter on the pipes that give me water from the well on my property. Perhaps you remember this photo… Without a filter all this sediment makes into my house, appliances, and into anybody who drinks my coffee!

Gasp! What have I done to you? I am responsible for filtering out the debris that could cause you harm. The filter, when new, is as white and clean looking as the cap on this filter device…but after a few months then it gets clogged and must be replaced. Immediately afterwards I notice the water flow rate picks back up. It had slowly clogged and the water flow had slowed down almost enough to not get noticed.

Side thought… Why do cigarettes have filters and some do not? We probably do not even want to think about it! And I cannot filter against second hand smoke!

Another side thought… Air intakes for our A/C, automobiles a host of other devices require filters to capture all the things that can mess up the insides of the device.  Imagine all the debris that could clog up your engine!

Think about it again. When we do not filter our world then we accept every little speck of dirt and sediment into our lives. It takes root! And remains! And clogs up all of those important parts of our body where we do not want to have a doctor repair. If possible.

Without a filter… I’m just saying. Do you even know that you have no filter? Where is it? What was it back in the days when you were raised by your family to a certain thought process? Did you rip the filter out and simply start accepting everything?

Sometimes we do not realize that we have no filter. In my tech days we simply called it:

GIGO – Garbage In. Garbage Out.

We learned to scrub data before we fed it to the processing program. Clean it up. Get the capitalization in the correct place. Fix misspelled words. Test the number fields for valid numbers. Make sure every byte of data was analyzed so that is could be properly presented. Then we knew there was no garbage going into the system, and all the output would contain only validated data.

Wise ol’ Solomon made a point that not everything we think is pure happens to be what God thinks is pure. There is probably a substrata of our identity that the unfiltered world coming in simply reinforces the choices we’ve made in the past, whether they were good, or not.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the spirits. (Proverbs 16:2 NKJV)

It seems Solomon had another thought about this.

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he….(Proverbs 23:7 NKJV)

This probably means that a filtered person thinks what is filtered into their life, and an unfiltered person has nothing to weed out the bad from the good.

Think about the voices that influence your words, and your actions. Where are the filters you grew up with that help you screen out the garbage so that your life presents only good things…

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