Mark Affleck


July 15, 2016
Spiritual Growth

“You talk too much” has been the hook of many songs through the years from rock’n’roll parody group Sha-Na-Na to Run DMC to George Thorogood to The Strokes—just to name a few. Then there’s a line you are no doubt very familiar with: “Open mouth, insert foot” which evolved from the original phrase “to put your foot in it,” meaning to say or do something inappropriate and embarrassing.
You get the idea.  It seems IMPOSSIBLE to avoid talking too much, right? I think everyone has had the unappetizing experience of tasting shoe leather or a smelly pair of socks.
At least for me, learning how to filter what we say prior to voicing it aloud is a lifelong process. Failing in this regard inhibits our ability to model Christ for the people who are watching us—in some cases, as one of the few representatives of Christ they will ever see.
“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” James 3:5
We have to learn to use our mouths like a filter, holding back the matter that will inhibit our effectiveness in guiding other people and even more importantly, being the only words from God many people will ever hear. Oddly enough, the more we allow God’s filter to purify our words, the more efficient the filter becomes.
God’s filter never wears out and always operates at 100% efficiency as long as we use it. I am thankful that God provides a filter to hold back the pains and worries and help us move through life with joy and safety. God’s filter is heaven’s perspective of insight and understanding, and when it showers down on us it makes our life engine run much smoother.
God accepts customized input directly from us and processes it with his special insight. Many believers who sometimes feel joined at the hip to desktops, notebooks, laptops, tablets, and smart phones might see some similarities in this analogy: Staying connected to God is a akin to finding his presence in the digital cloud.
Though being followed by the digital cloud is not always what we might wish for, we can be secure in knowing the “God Cloud” always follows us for protection and our good. If we open our eyes and look above to that Cloud, we may see. In contrast to the computer cloud, our “God Cloud” is always with us so long as we stay connected to God. This connection comes with a built-in filter called the Holy Spirit, and if we keep our connection plugged in so that we follow the Holy Spirit’s posts, we can be confident when putting our thoughts and concerns the filter for processing.
We build a life from the choices we make every day. Putting our thoughts, circumstances, and future through God’s filter on a regular basis gives us the incentive and discipline to make the choices that honor him. If we do not activate the filter by connecting with God on a daily basis, we are forced to find perspective and direction from somewhere else—friends, television, or online bloggers and-called experts whose advice resides in the digital cloud.

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