I know absolutely nothing about cars. At one point some guy friends of mine actually got me to believe my blinker fluid was low. True story. The last thing I know anything about is oil filters, but...I think that I think they are used to filter out the bad oil and only let the good oil into the engine. Yes?! Am I close? So, I guess the point of a personal filter would be to keep yourself from saying the "bad" things and only allow yourself to say the "good" things. Yes? I'll be honest, most people who know me well probably wouldn't say I have much of a personal filter. I often say things I probably shouldn't and more often speak before I think. Probably not the best characteristic of mine. I tend to be just slightly sarcastic. Ok, fine I am over the top sarcastic. It is kind of my way of having a filter, but also saying what I think.
While I see a lot of value in being honest and real with people, I have come to realize there is a time and a place for everything. I have learned there is importance to knowing my audience.
Sometimes, I get tired of telling people what they want to hear. Sometimes, I just want to tell them what I really think. I am wise enough now to know that is not always the best idea. Filters are NECESSARY! Especially in ministry. There are way to many things I want to say about church that I NEED to filter. What I have come to realize about myself is that many times how I really feel is simply how I feel in that MOMENT, not how I REALLY feel. That is why my filter is so valuable to me. Too many times I look back and say, "I can't believe I said that." That isn't how I really feel, it's just how I felt in that moment, and now I have left that person with a wrong impression of me.
This evening I got a sweet text from a very dear friend and she told me one thing she loves about our friendship is that she can just be herself and doesn't have to use her filter. Wow! Isn't that the truth. Don't we all need friends like that? Friends where we can say how we are really feeling and not be judged? Friends that won't look down on us because we feel a certain way? Friends that will give us the benefit of the doubt when we tell them something that we probably shouldn't? Friends that believe in who we are even when we tell them the truth about what we think of ourselves? Friends that we don't have to call later and say "what I really meant was...?" If I am really honest, I really only have a few friends like that. I worry about what many of the people in my life are going to think. Are they going to judge what I say because I am a pastors wife? Maybe or maybe not.
So, here's to my filter-less friends. You know who you are!! Thank you for loving me no matter what. Thank you for the breaks in life you give me to just be me and not feel the pressure to say the right thing. You are the people who have gotten me through this ministry life over the last 11 years...and you are all getting oil filters for Christmas from me- hope you know how to use 'em, cuz I don't!