I opened the message with talking about what Instagram, for those few who did not. I explained that it is a social media platform where you post pictures online by applying a filter to make the picture look better than it really is. I showed some examples of this with a picture I took in front of the office. I shared how Instagram used to be full of really cool pictures until teenagers began to join, and now it has a lot of silly pictures, including "selfies". I shared how it is a snapshot of your life, showing the web version of my own Instagram account that shows some of my own favorite pictures that include pics of my wife, my nephew, some coffee, etc. While we post the pictures that are important to us, we never post pictures that are honesty of our sin nature such as showing greed, anger, and those days when we feel defeated by sin.
Our focus for the night was filters. Just as we apply filters to a picture to make it look better, we apply them to our own life to make us look better than we really are. We read 1 John 1:5-9 and broke it down by verse:
verse 5- God is light- No filter is needed
God is truth in the purest form. He is the definition of truth. With God there is no deception.
verse 6- Filter= Religion
John was writing this because there were false teachings taking place that denied the existence of sin or the importance of sin. It is a lie and deception when we say that we are in fellowship with God, yet continue to walk in darkness. We work hard on this filter sometimes so that others perceive us to be holier than we really are.
verse 7- Filter= Blood of Jesus
If we are saved and are pursuing Jesus, then God sees us blameless because we are covered in the blood of Jesus. We can approach Him because we have this filter that works for our good.
verse 8- Filter= Self-Deception
This is the most dangerous filter. Just as on Instagram we only post the pictures we want others to see, we only let people see the parts of ourselves that we want them to see. If we are not careful with this deception, we will eventually end up believing it is our true self. If we ignore our sin long enough, we will begin to justify the sin, not believe it is bad, and eventually believe that we are not sinful.
verse 9- The Solution
-We confess our sin to God and allow Him to forgive us and cleanse us. We then forgive ourselves, and we wage war again our sin (Hebrews 12:4).
It is necessary for us to see the danger of the filters that we use in life. Not only are we lying when we use these filters, but we take on a self-destructing tendency that will lead us down a road we do not need to go on.