My husband is a great guy. He has a good heart and loves me devotedly. It’s a good thing I am confident of this because occasionally he says the wrong thing. It’s quite unintentional, and in the end has brought me hours of amusement and given me great material to share with those around me. For example:
One evening he and I are comfortably settled in our recliners, watching reruns of a crime drama. In this particular episode, the bad guy is a very charismatic character who has several women that “share” him. The women have all had plastic surgery and colored their hair in order to look very much alike. They are completely enamored with this man, so much so, they are willing to share. Mark is dumbfounded. He looks over at me and says
“What would you do?? What would you do if I got two other bimbos….”
I don’t know what he said next as I was equally dumbfounded…not at the plot of the episode, but at his choice of words….
“Eeeexxxxcccuuuuuuuse me? What did you say?”
He still hasn’t caught on, so he repeats it….
“What would you do if I got two other bimbos….”
Again, I have no idea what followed those words….
“Ok, let me get this straight…..two OTHER bimbos?? As if you already have one?????”
Seldom is my husband rendered speechless, but this was one of those rare moments.
I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this story, and many others. We have good friends that have dubbed his misstatements “Markisms”. Sometimes I can tell by the look on his face in the nanoseconds after words have escaped his lips that he is thinking “Did I really just say that out loud??” I know that he doesn’t really think I’m a bimbo, nor does he ever intentionally try to disparage me, but I tease him that his filter is broken. To a degree, we can all probably identify with him, as we have said the wrong thing at some time or other. Hopefully, it was to someone who knew our heart wasn’t accurately represented in the words we chose.
We have many filters. Some may work well. Others, not so much. Consider the filter of emotions. When situations, circumstances, or maybe the actions/words of others are poured through the filter of emotion the outcome is a gamble. Emotions are fickle and can turn on a dime. They can change very quickly and often without warning. The filter of emotions can take a minor problem and turn it into a major disaster! They can produce an inappropriate response or attitude. Sifting life through this filter on a regular basis wreaks havoc and keeps us in turmoil. Perhaps you are not that different from me, having asked yourself “Why did I respond (i.e., feel) that way?” once a situation has passed. Emotions are a filter that is unstable and unreliable.
Let’s look at the filter of our minds. We have a lot stored in our brains, and taking the same situations, circumstances, etc., and pouring them through the filter of our minds can create a clog. We can think so much about our problem or what someone else said or did, that we never come to any conclusions or resolution – it just keeps circling around and around in our minds. One of the reasons it continues to circle is that this filter is made up of everything we think we know or have heard. Our minds try to sift the problem through what we’ve been taught, the latest magazine article cited, or what the expert on the talk show had to say. Surely these professionals know what they’re talking about! As Christians this clog can become painful as we often try to push what we’ve learned from the world and what we believe the bible says through the filter at the same time, when there’s a conflict between the two. Our minds, while an amazing part of who we are, cannot be trusted as the best filter for life’s experiences.
Then there’s our will, the decision-making filter. How many times have we made a decision (usually with our mind and emotions as consultants) that seemed so right, so perfect, only to discover that we chose wrong. We analyze why, regroup, and continue to make life decisions with a filter that is flawed. Being a very strong-willed person, this has been a filter I fully expected to assist me in fulfilling my desires. If I just make a strong, committed decision, put all my energy into making something happen, I will be rewarded with success… Yet this filter has failed me time and time again.
There can be friend filters, church filters, family filters, work filters… Filter: A substance or device used to remove impurities. Whether its air or liquid or gas or our lives, a filter is used to cause a better result in the final outcome. Are we filtering our lives through the opinions of others to determine if we are on the right course? Are we looking at others with the expectation they will chart our course and then blaming them when we don’t like the results?
God created us to use our minds, wills, and emotions in this life. But if our filters are broken, how can we know we are going through our life experiences responding appropriately, and making right choices that will be for our good?
Hebrews 4:12 “The word that God speaks is alive and full of power…penetrating to the division of soul and spirit….exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.”
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Proverbs 16:3 “Roll your works upon the Lord – commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will – and so shall your plans be established and succeed.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 ” Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.”
The perfect filter through which every part of our lives should flow is His word. By His Spirit we can be “…cleansed by the washing of water with the Word…” Impurities removed, all that He desires remaining, ready for His use. The final outcome? The ultimate satisfaction of a life lived with right purpose.