We might also think of this filter as the thankfulness filter. This filter is quite similar to the Honour filter, expect that the object here is God rather than people. Are we a people that are constantly in awe of God and all that He has done for us? Are we focused on the beauty of the grace He has shown to us through Christ? Yes, but also the common grace of a great meal, a beautiful sunset, a stunning vista? How would it change our entire disposition if we were rejoicing always and giving thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). What if we recognized that every good thing, every gift we received was actually a gift from God (James 1:17)? What if we cultivated a prayer life that was less focused on all that we lack and more focused on all that God has provided?
Purity, in our culture, can seem like an old-fashion and outdated notion but God calls us to be people who are concerned with purity. In Matthew 5:8, Jesus says that the pure in heart will be blessed because they will see God. In Colossians 3:5, Paul commands us to put to death impurity including sexual immorality, evil desire, and covetousness. As the people of God, we need to make sure that the things we are watching, listening to, and thinking about are pure and clean, and that we aren’t being tarnished by the pollution of this world in drawn into sin.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to focus on the things that happen to us that seem unfair? Unjust? Many people get trapped in a prison of bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness because they can’t let go of injustice. Instead of focusing on slights and injustices God calls us to focus on what is just. This means both focusing on the fact that God is just and we can trust Him to do what is just on our behalf (Romans 12:19, Psalm 37:28), and it means focusing on how we can be part of seeing the justice of God done in a world, filled with injustice. (Isaiah 1:17, Micah 6:8, Jeremiah 22:3)
Have you ever noticed how quick we are to criticize and tear down and how slow many of us are to encourage and honour others? God wants His people to be people who are focused on looking for the things in others, that are commendable and worthy of honour. He wants us to be the type of people who encourage others and build up one another. Here’s a short list of some of the people and things we are called to honor: Parents (Deut. 5:16), other Christians (Romans 12:10), marriage (Hebrews 13:4), elders in the church (1 Timothy 5:17), rulers (1 Peter 2:17). What would it look like if we trained ourselves to be on the look out for opportunities to honour and commend rather than to criticize and find fault?
We live in a world where it can feel impossible to determine what is true. As Christians, we determine truth by starting with Scripture. Jesus reminds us in John 17:17 that, God’s word is true and in John 16:13, we’re reminded that every Christian has the Holy Spirit living in them who is also referred to as the Spirit of Truth. In contrast to that, we face an enemy in Satan, who is a liar (John 8:44) and he uses lies to attack us. If we are to not only survive but thrive as followers of Jesus, we need to commit ourselves to being people who filter every word and thought through the truth of God’s word.