I was listening to my friends the other night talk about their grandmothers who were in declining health. They told us that one of these women, who all her life had been a strong Christian, was suddenly swearing like a sailor and using language that was vulgar and even racist. A comment was made that it seemed as if “her filter had been turned off.”
This caused me to think about what it really means to be “saved.” I have begun to develop a higher view of salvation than I have had in the past because I want to believe that it’s more than simply a “filter.” I want to believe that something radical happens – that you do become a “new creation” and are truly “born again.” I want to believe that an actual change has taken place.
The odd thing about these types of stories, when the elderly lose their filter, is that it almost always ends up with the person becoming meaner, not nicer. They resort to using odd language, not sweet language. It’s as if the “default setting” of man is extremely low, and that once the guards in our life have been taken away – this is the place we go.
Is salvation a true change or simply a strong defense system?
I think of things like pacifism, purity, kindness, serving the poor, gathering together in community, etc. Do we have to force these things upon ourselves? Do we have to convince ourselves that they are the right way then do everything within our power to live within the confines of this decision, this way of life? I would rather that I begin to naturally think this way, and that offering an enemy a hand isn’t fighting every instinct in my being – it IS the instinct of my being.
Christ didn’t fight Himself to offer forgiveness to His killers as He hung on the cross. It poured out of who He was. I want that.