The Reusable Filter

Before my individual pod coffee maker took over my morning routine, I used a standard, inexpensive twelve-cup machine. One year I decided to save a tree, or maybe just a limb, and got a reusable coffee filter to replace the paper ones.

My Bible is like that—reusable. I’ve read it year in and year out for decades and it still works to filter the brew in my soul. The Spirt of the Lord works through it to keep out the stuff that shouldn’t get into my cup of life.

The more I used the coffee filter, the more I began to see a gradual stain build up. The more I read my Bible, the more I became aware how little-by-little stains of uncleansed sin accumulated, tainting my attitude so subtly that without careful examination, the residue remained even while blatant sins were held in check.

Jerry Bridges wrote a wonderful book called Respectable Sins. It was a wake-up call to attend to the overlooked and often excused sinful attitudes and behaviors in life. I discovered that each rereading jolted me back to self-reflection. In a similar way, thoughtful, rather than hurried, Bible reading opens my eyes to things in my life I overlook.

The wake-up from a cup of coffee is like our “good morning” from the Word of God. Continual use of the same filter will catch the debris of life. But cleaning a reusable filter is also a reminder of the need to be purified inside. If you don’t have a filter to prompt you, consider other repeated cleaning tasks—like dishes or laundry.

In Hebrews we’re encouraged to “draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience.”

What’s the reusable filter in your life?

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