If you’ve ever watched a pro photographer at work, he has various lenses and filters he changes out to achieve certain shots and get specific looks to capture a moment.
When we communicate, we often function much like a photographer. We apply filters and lenses, depending on the person, situation, and even our own attitude at the time.
If you evaluate the people you regularly communicate with, you will likely see this practice at play. For one person, you may put on a skeptical, cautious filter. For another, a positive lens is applied to see everything through. For someone else, you use a wide-angle lens to keep some distance and watch your back as you speak.
A lot of us guys can forget to remove the work lens when we come home and talk to the kids like they’re employees. Or apply the work filter at church. Or get the lenses mixed up when two friends who require different approaches are in the same conversation with you.
I had a conversation with someone recently about how freeing it was for this person to remove the defensive filter off a certain relationship. Honestly, attaching and detaching filters and lenses on our communication and personalities can be exhausting.
So, what can we do when we realize we have collected a wide assortment of gear with which we feel we must use to both speak and listen to people?
The simple answer that requires a prayerful application is to throw away all the lenses and filters and apply only one —the Holy Spirit.
He is able to adjust to every person, conversation, and setting to get exactly the right angle, perspective, and look we need to deal with any and everyone in our lives. To properly capture every moment.
“For the Holy Spirit will give you the right words even as you are standing there.” —Luke 12:12 TLB