filters are used on camera lenses to enhance different colors or to highlight certain features of the picture being taken. the image we see is modified in some way by the filters. in like manner, we view and interact with people through filters created and influenced by our life’s experiences and beliefs. oftentimes, we consider everyone and everything objects that are available simply to serve our purposes. “how do I view others? what do I do with first impressions? what assumptions do I make? how do my needs or inconveniences influence my view of others?” answers to these questions are influenced by the filters we use through which we view the world, people and events. these filters are our interpretations of reality and shape both the priorities in our life and the perspective from which we approach life and others.
let’s consider three filters (or perspectives) through which we view others and some insight into these filters from God’s Word:
object of consumption
we desire objects that we “must have” – and are often disappointed after we finally get them. we target certain relationships to gain what we want (not always in a negative light, but consider here how this is abused) – power, position and prestige are often the motivators. Do not love the world or anything in the world.
– If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. [1 John 2:15-17] Also, Psalm 119:36-37; Proverbs 18:1; Philippians 3:7-9.
object of control
we use people for a higher purpose with the perspective of being utilitarian, not collaborative. people are viewed as tools to be used just as a hammer or screwdriver is used. when we ask people to serve, whether in a paid or volunteer capacity, they need to understand how their efforts contribute to the accomplishment of the overall objectives. serving without a context of meaningful contribution promotes.
– Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. [Ephesians 5:21] Also, 1 John 4:20b; John 15:15.
object of compassion
we have a heart to love and serve others made possible only by Christ living in and loving through us. is it possible to be too compassionate? can it be distracting from accomplishing more important things? is there ever “pure compassion” without Jesus? with commpassion meaning the outward expression of a caring, brotherly love, i submit that it is not possible to be too compassionate. we may allow situations to get out of hand with the thought of being compassionate, but if it is detrimental to the person (for example, raising a child without any boundaries), then compassion ceases and other issues come into play.
– This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. [1 John 3:16-18] Also, John 15:13; 1 Corinthians 15:9.
we all see the world in a slightly different way, with our own filters on the end of the camera lense. just as camera filters can be changed, our perspective and how we interact with others is adjusted as we grow in maturity through different encounters with other people, experiences along our journey of life, and events that become milestone markers in our life.
what perspective or filter should you seek to employ? what is a key verse and prayer for your daily reminder of how God wants you to view others? For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. [2 Corinthians 5:14-16] And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. [Romans 5:5]