Summary: “Many aspire, but few attain.” – Rev. Dr. Paul Fritz
Are You a Thermometer or a Thermostat Christian?
Introduction: Are you a thermometer (circumstantially led) or are you a thermostat (influencer of your surroundings) believer?
Let me explain. A thermometer is circumstantially led. Depending on the temperature, the mercury moves up or down. It moves according to the whether circumstances that it is set in. Everything around a thermometer controls how the thermometer works, whether it moves up or down.
A thermostat influences its surroundings. Unlike the thermometer, the thermostat controls the heat or coldness around it.
What type of believer are you? Do you influence your surroundings? Or, are you influenced by your surroundings?
“Many aspire, but few attain.” – Rev. Dr. Paul Fritz
I would like to suggest that the reason behind many “thermometer Christians” is their own discouragements. All Christians will be discourages, but the Bible gives us answers to these discouragements.
Here are the top 8 discouragements in a Christian’s mind and what God’s Word says about them.
1. I must be loved and accepted by those in my life who are most important to me. I must live up to their expectations.
- This mindset is very dangerous and counter biblical. Although it would be nice for every one of your family members and friends to be happy with your lifestyle, it won’t ever happen. There will always be the ones who look down on you or despise you out of jealousy, envy, and ignorance.
- The Bible tells us in Matt. 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
- If the important people in your life are not accepting you because of your devotion to God, you are blessed! This might sound crazy, but really it shows that you have a changed heart. You have a changed life. Do not be surprised if you are persecuted and have to suffer. Believers often do not understand why they have to suffer. When they suffer, they are surprised and astonished and wonder why God does not protect them from the suffering and persecution. This is especially true when persecution is fiery and painful. As long as the believer is on the face of this earth, he will be called upon to face fiery trials. Being a genuine believer in a corrupt world is difficult. The world just cannot understand the demands of Christ for self-denial and discipline and in particular Christ’s insistence that they give all they are and have to His cause. So, when a person really begins to live for Christ the world often wants little to do with them. It may be next door, in the office, in school, in the government or in a hundred other places. Why does God allow the believer to suffer persecution? To test, try and prove us.
- Persecution measures our faith. Any person’s faith can be measure by how much they are willing to sacrifice or bear for it. Suffering persecution for Christ shows how strong or weak our faith really is. Persecution proves our faith and attracts others to Christ. When we suffer and are persecuted, others can see the strength of Christ in us. They see that our faith in Christ is a living reality and they are drawn to Christ, to His salvation, love, care and strength. When others see us suffer for the hope of salvation and eternal life, the Holy Spirit uses our suffering to speak to the heats of the persecutors and observers. He convicts them, and some eventually turn to Christ.