A mechanical engineer would probably be able to explain better, but I do know that filters are very essential to the proper and lasting function of any engine. Air filters, oil filters and the likes, they help keep out debris and foreign bodies from the combustion chamber of engines. The combustion chamber is where fuel is ignited to power the pistons. Long story short, filters are super important to engines.
I also think that it is super important that people have filters that guard their powerhouse – the mind. And for the believer, the Bible prescribes a complete set of filters.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.(Philippians 4:8, KJV)
Many times, the things that inform our thought processes are things we see and/or hear. The first level of filtering should be at the point of making a decision on what to see and/or hear. “What I’m about to see and/or hear, does God’s Word call it true? Is it an honest report? Will it defile me? Can I tell my Parent(s)/Pastor/Mentor that I just watched this?” These are the “filtering questions” we must always ask ourselves.
Sometimes, we can’t help the things that we get exposed to. At this point, we must choose not to think on, or think about these things especially if they don’t pass the criteria of our Philippians 4:8 filter.
And there are some crazy thoughts that seem to just pop out of nowhere. However, like a wise someone said, you can’t stop birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building nests in your hair. No matter how shockingly tantalizing a thought might be, if it doesn’t satisfy the criteria of the Philippians 4:8 filter, we must jettison it. Or else, we’d be asking for trouble.
So faith comes from hearing…(Romans 10:17, NLT)
So does fear. And every other thing that would stop us from living in the fullness of a redeemed life.
But Daniel was determined not to defile himself…(Daniel 1:8, NLT)
Like Daniel and his friends, it’s essential to have a firm conviction to apply these filters even before potential impurities come your way. This way, your filters are already in place whenever impurities show, instead of scrambling for them at the point of need.
To live as salt and light in this world, it’s necessary that we always have the Philippians 4:8 filter in place to keep our savor unsullied, and our light undimmed.