Thursday, January 7, 2016

Are You a Thermometer or a Thermostat?

With the cold weather now upon us, I find myself consulting my thermometer and thermostat more frequently. Have you ever thought about these two instruments? They have related but quite different functions.

Both have to do with how hot or cold it is, but the similarity stops there. A thermometer merely reflects its surroundings. It does nothing to influence them. A thermostat, however, seeks to regulate rather than imitate, turning on the furnace or the air conditioner according to the need.

As a Christian, I want to be more like a thermostat than a thermometer. I don't want to simply report the conditions of the moment. I want to try to affect the future in a positive way.

For example, in dealing with finances in their families, thermometer types only report the conditions of the moment: "We can't tithe or support missions or you name it because the economy hasn't done very well this year. We didn't get a raise. We have too many bills."

What thermometer types don't do well is affect the future, except maybe negatively with self-fulfilling prophecies.

Thermostat-based talk says, "What ought the temperature be, and how can we make it happen?"

Thermostat types don't ignore the conditions. No, they first recognize what they face, but then they study the Word and pray and ask God to show them what He wants them to accomplish and how.

The Bible is full of wisdom. If we follow God's instructions and pray and work and trust Him, He will make a way where there seems to be no way.

In Acts 13:43, Paul and Barnabas urged the believers in Antioch to continue to rely on the grace of God. In times of difficulty, we too must not only report the conditions but respond to them with prayer and obedience to God's Word, trusting in His grace to see us through victoriously.

This year, I want to be a thermostat, don't you? I want to have a positive influence on the people and situations I in meet in 2016.

What do you need to do to become more like a thermostat?

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