Check Your FilterFilter. What comes to mind for you? An air filter in your furnace or car, a water filter, a coffee filter (if your like me you depend on these), the filter through which an idea enters your brain and comes out your mouth? There are a million different filters we could encounter in our lifetime. My question to you is what happens when you do not maintain this filter? I’ll tell you, it gets dirty, clouded, clogged and eventually breaks down its machine. Those of you who know me and know my writing style know where I am going with this one.

Over this past week, on several occasions I have praised God for the gift of communication. Let me back up, I haven’t always recognized this gift inside myself. I realized this gift about 2.5 years ago during a study called Strengths Finder 2.0, if you haven’t read this book and finished this study, DO IT! It is amazing what you can do with the knowledge of your true strengths. In today’s generation communication is not only a gift it is an absolute necessity and here is why, the most important thing about communication is to hear what is being said. I didn’t say “like” what is being said, I said HEAR what is being said. Our ears need to be a filter.  We are living in a generation where everyone is communicating (loudly) but no one is listening. Instead of listening to understand we have become a culture that listens to reply. This is a problem. I began to reflect on why this is happening more today than ever before and my conclusion is that our filter is long over due for a change. We are filtering all of our communications through a cloudy, dirty, overused screen, so no wonder our outpour and our reaction is a result of that.

Think about it and this is as much for me as for you and the reason why I blog! Through which filter is your husband receiving your greeting at 5:30pm when the kids are hungry and tired and you are hungry and tired and thinking about the whole list you have to do after everyone is asleep? Through which filter is your child receiving your attention after a day of non stop go, go, go and all you want is two minutes to yourself? Through which filter is the cashier at Target or customer service person at AT&T receiving your over scheduled, impatient,  dissatisfied self? Through which filter are your colleagues, employees, friends, and family receiving your heart? That’s a big one. And the most important, through which filter is God receiving your presence? Yea. I know tough stuff.  I write this to bring awareness, to inspire change, but most of all to shower you with grace.  God filters each one of our actions, our words, our thoughts through a filter weaved with love, mercy and grace and He loves us exactly where we are, dirty filter and all! Again I question, why can’t we do the same? I know in the back of your head you are saying, “but they hurt me,” “I give and give and give and they take and take and take” “I’m tired of going to them, they need to come to me”, “well that is their problem, they can deal with it”, “i’m tired of fighting” and so on….or you filter it through experiences from the past, ‘I don’t want to go through that again”, “it’s in my genes”, “I’ve been burned once, I won’t be burnt again.” You get the picture. Well here is what I have to say to that.  Change your filter, change your life. Period. You control your thoughts. You allow yourself to think one way or the other. Filter everything through one of love, mercy and grace and notice how different the atmosphere is around you.

My final thought comes to you from my beautiful mentor. She gave me  Mathew 9:17. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

When you begin anything new, do not filter through your old past. This will lead you astray. Filter your new changes, your new outlook, your new relationship through your new filter and everything will be brighter, even on the cloudy days.

Inspiring you to be a pioneer of change first in YOU, then in the world around you,