All of us know the difference between a thermostat and a thermometer. When I suspect that one of my children is running a fever, I use a thermometer to check their temperature. That’s because a thermometer is a tool used to register or record the temperature. A thermostat, however, is something that is altogether different. Its main job isn’t to merely record the temperature, but to regulate it. I read where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, said, “In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.” The idea is that the church ought to be a change agent in the world for righteousness’ sake.
“In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
That is really a powerful illustration, isn’t it? The church is a gospel ‘thermostat’ in the world. Jesus never intended for His followers to be thermometers. He always sends His disciples into the world with a mission to fulfill. He intends for us to be change agents, to be salt and light for His sake. This only happens as we yield to the power of His Spirit who lives within us.
As a Christian, are you acting more like a thermostat or a thermometer? Are you simply rising and falling to the degree of those around you, or are you setting the standard for your environment? By God’s grace, determine to be the thermostat that sets the spiritual temperature so that others may see the light of Jesus Christ reflected in your life today.
Lord, I yield to the leadership of Your Spirit today. May the light of Christ shine through me and affect the atmosphere around me. Empower my witness today as I seek to win others around me to faith in Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For more, read Matthew 5:1-16