Every summer, we turn on the AC and within a few days there is ice forming on the pipe that leads from the central air conditioning unit outside to the furnace inside. There is condensation in the basement and ice forming on the outside of the furnace. The temperature also doesn’t change much in the house. I was sick the day they taught anything related to home repair, so a neighbor came to our rescue…

Neighbor: “Did you change the filter?”

Me: “What filter?”

Sure enough, we changed the filter and our house is cool and comfortable again. It also provided a good analogy and great reminder about the internal filter that goes between my brain (thoughts) and my mouth (words). It turns out the filter that I didn’t know anything about in our house needs to be changed every 6 months (my schedule has been about every 2 years). The internal one needs a check-up every now and again too. If left unchecked, my attitude becomes as frosty as that pipe leading into the house. I get edgy, mean and rude.

He who guards his lips guards his life,┬ábut he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. –Proverbs 13:3

Changing the internal filter of my mind is not quite as easy as changing the one on our house (if I can do that, anyone can). I can’t just run to Lowes and pick up a new filter. I have to daily remind myself to guard my words. I’ve got to lean into the grace that God showed me and extend it to others. Just because I have an opinion it doesn’t mean I need to express it. If I find myself getting edgy or opinionated, it’s time to check that internal filter again.

Your turn. Is it time to replace the filter?