Frosted glass is one of my favourite things, and the glass louvres in our rental are made of this very thing. Rectangular sheets of translucent glass that offer a semblance of privacy without compromising illumination.
From the inside looking out, there is evidence of life beyond – shapes and movements cloaked in mystery by this frosted glass filter. No illusions. Only the tantalising tease of possibilities beyond viewed from a cocoon of relative safety.
A filtered view.
No one on the outside has to vet our bed linen choices or witness our struggle to have a place for everything and everything in its place. They have their own lives and enough challenges to occupy their mental space, so the filtered view spares them from having to consider and offer commentary on one more thing.
Filters are undervalued.
Our generation has a love-hate relationship with filters. We embrace the tangible modern filters that spare us the unpleasant sensation of sediment hitting oesophagus – tea balls, cheesecloth, paper filters, the whole lot. Photographic effects and filters pull oohs and aahs from the depths of our collective being, and we applaud aesthetic brilliance and clamour for more.
Then, at the slightest suggestion that our speech or behaviour be tempered, we balk, wave our copies of our respective free world constitutions and declare ‘#NoFilter’.
When we find ourselves in hard places, human fury knows no bounds. Dare anyone infringe on our right to vent and rail against injustice?
Long before we thought about it, Someone dared:
Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. (NKJV, Ephesians 4: 26-27)
In the expression of anger, Paul encourages the Ephesian church (and us): Do not sin. Do not allow the day to end before you have settled peace. Do not give the devil space to insert his smallest toe.
Filters in abundance.
That certainly defies the concept of anger I grew up with, but there really are no surprises there.
The One who is revealed throughout Scripture is the One who condescended to be cloaked in humanity, for the benefit of a fallen race who would not survive in the presence Light Unfiltered.
At twelve years old, it was clear that Jesus fully understood Who he was in relation to his earthly guardians, and yet we read that “… he went down with them… and was subject unto them…” (Luke 2:51) In Christ’s parables, we see Him filtering elevated truths through the lens of everyday sights and sounds, in order to reach the hearts of the common people. In Pilate’s hall, we hear Him declare that Pilate could have no power over Him unless it came from above. Finally, at Golgotha – knowing that legions of angels would be willing to take action at a moment’s notice – He “became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.”
Because God-likeness is more about humility, compassion, restraint and submission than it is about fire and brimstone.
‘Restraint’ and ‘submission’ do not count as swear words, but they are anathema to hearts deceitful above all things and desperately wicked – which is to say, all our hearts, unfiltered by Divine grace.
We must lay self aside and keep our soiled hands off the reins of control, so the Almighty God can work effectively in and through us. Our words are prone to wound and bruise, and our natural inclinations do not present an accurate representation of our Creator. Not one of us can claim to have inherent goodness.
No, not one.
We need the filter of God’s Word to sift out our selfish inclinations, in order that the Holy Spirit’s appeal to our intellect may find lodgement and bear fruit for eternity. We dare not trust our natural logic, for it never leads to other-centered motives.
Let us humbly submit to having our thoughts vetted by the only wise God who knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation. Yoked together with Christ, we must commit to ensuring that our words and actions will not offend our Divine Partner in the Journey. As we submit to His leading, He will keep us by His grace.
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)
I pray that these words will come to you appropriately filtered by God’s grace. May you be abundantly blessed.