Do you think your past experiences have given you a filter so you might not see things clearly as they are? Do you see marriage with a filter of your own broken relationships? Do you see happy families through the filter of your own broken family? Do you see others’ financial success through your own filter of money problems, which can raise envy and jealousy in your mind?
We all have experiences which can cloud our mind and judgment. For women, a past of abuse by men may make it impossible for women to fully trust any man, no matter who they are. She can look at a pastor, boss, father figure, news anchor, fireman or cop and “see” abuse, control, anger, betrayal through the filter of her past experiences with men. She can’t give a fair chance to a possible new relationship with a man because her issue of hurt and mistrust is the filter she looks at any man.
Another place where filters of hurt can rise is at church. The pastor is talking about accepting God’s love, forgiveness and acceptance. He is talking about the Heavenly Father and how we can trust Him and should put our faith in Him. Our filter of hurt will say, “Yeah, so, the last time I heard the world ‘love’, it included abuse and abandonment.” “The word ‘Father’ conjures up painful memories of a father who beat me time and time again and sexually abused me for most of my childhood. Trust a father? No way!”
Do you see how we make our present pay for our past? The love of God is not a human love; it is free and unconditional. Look at what God’s love is all about in I Corinthians 13.
“Love is PATIENT, love is KIND. It does NOT ENVY, does NOT BOAST, it is NOT PROUD. It is NOT RUDE, it is NOT SELF-SEEKING, it is NOT ANGERED. It KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS. Love does NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL, but REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH. It ALWAYS PROTECTS, ALWAYS TRUST, ALWAYS HOPES, ALWAYS PERSEVERES. LOVE NEVER FAILS.”
THIS is the love the pastor is talking about; not the flawed and abusive love you may have lived. Your abuser has probably never experienced God’s love either, so brings their filter with them as well.
Look at those verses again like a baby seeing the world for the first time out of the womb. Open your eyes and heart wide, drop your filters of hurt and know that God’s kind of love is for you too. Receive His deep, deep love and wrap yourself up in it.