Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
It just looked hot. The other day I was lying on the couch in my living room. It is one of those nice long couches with plenty of room. Even though I am not extremely tall, you might say, “height challenged,” it’s nice to know there is room to spare. Our couch sits in front of a bay window, so I had a nice view of the trees outside and the clear blue summer sky. It was good. I knew from a thermometer that registers the outside temperature that it was hot outside…really hot. And, as I was lying there, I was just thinking how grateful I was for the guy who invented air conditioners. Air conditioning is one of those things we take for granted and having been raised down south with only a window fan…well, let’s just say I’m grateful.
We are blessed at our house to have central air conditioning. I have this thingy on the wall called a thermostat and it talks to my air conditioning…they are good friends and speak their own special language. So, I tell the thermostat what temperature I like, and it tells the air conditioning. When it is needed, the thermostat prods the air conditioning and says, “Hey, we need some cool air” and just like that he fires up (no pun intended) and cools the room down. It is a great relationship. Both are needed and I am grateful for both.
Now the thermometer and the thermostat are not the same thing. You see the thermometer simply tells me the temperature, but it can’t do anything about it. I could tell the thermometer, “Hey, I’m hot,” but all it can do is confirm the truth. The thermostat on the other hand, has the ability to do something about it…and it does. One instrument tells the condition of the room but the other has the ability to control the condition of the room. How about that?
So, have you ever wondered if you are a thermometer or a thermostat? Well, probably not, but the truth is all of us at one time or another is one or the other. We find ourselves in a room of people and soon there is a discussion that goes south, and the temperature starts to rise. If we are thermometers all we do is reflect the temperature and watch it rise. But if we are thermostats, we can help control the temperature with wise words and kind actions and maybe just maybe keep friends, friends.
Jesus was a great thermostat. The four Books that talk about Him (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are filled with great examples. One time some rock chucking religious people wanted to stone a woman because she had sinned. They asked Jesus what He thought and He told them OK but the person without sin had to cast the first rock. Boy, that cooled things off. One by one the rock chucker’s stepped away till it was only He and the woman left. He told her he wasn’t going to condemn her and invited her to go and sin no more. Amazing.
Today, especially in these days, we need to be thermostats. Every day there are situations that need a good thermostat and we Jesus’ people need to rise to the occasion. Always be ready to set your thermostat to grace and then spread it around. Anybody can start a fire, or a fight or raise the temperature in a situation. Anyone can reflect the temperature, but we are called to do more. We are called to be like Jesus.
Paul, one of the guys who wrote the New Testament, said, “Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.” And what would that be? It was His willingness to always go last instead of first. It was His willingness to forgive and not condemn. It was His willingness to love the loveless, touch the untouchable, and care for the most unlikely. It was being a thermostat. I know that’s not always easy. It’s easier to tell a thermostat what to do than be one! But don’t worry, God is ready and willing to help. He loves it when His kids act like His Son. No doubt…He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne