Are you a thermometer or thermostat?

I The 5-15
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Make sure that no one repays evil for evil. Always pursue what is good for one another and for all people. 1 Thessalonians 5:15

When we constantly receive good things, it is hard for us to give back bad things. But nevertheless, we find the contrary prevailing in the world. So how do we actually stop this cycle of evil begetting evil? It is a natural human tendency to do evil for evil. But suppose if I do good for evil which requires a different mental attitude then I can find that goodness has such a power to stop the course of evil to proceed further.

Corrie Ten Boom (a Nazi concentration camp survivor who helped people escape from being killed in gas chambers by Nazi army) in her famous statement about Christians said that we are not thermometers but thermostats. Thermometers only sense the temperature of the surrounding and do not do much except reflecting the attitude of the atmosphere. But thermostat can alter the temperature because it can sense and can also decrease or increase the heat to the ideal/ambient temperature that is set within itself. This is the closest contemporary example for what Jesus meant when He said that anyone who believes in Him should be a Light or Salt. But if the circuit is broken in a thermostat, it can be clue less and erratic. Remember Jesus already wired you to be a thermostat and not a thermometer. He empowered you to bring a change of goodness around this world and not succumb to the evil that you face. When you believe this, everything around you will brighten up because you are the light for this dark world because Jesus the divine light is shining in you. Don’t search for a light but be the light of Jesus to others and continue His legacy to bring more people to His kingdom.

Let us see one more practical example. How do we quench hot objects? We usually plunge them in cold water. Depending on the coldness of the water used for plunging, the hot or boiling water will come down in its temperature gradually, maybe if not immediately but at least after a period of time. When Jesus said “Do good to people who hate you”. It is exactly the same principle of action what we saw that happens when hot water meets cold water but now in a moral sense. The intention of God is not to condemn people and destroy them but to change them for good. So should I not go with the mood of the God, who is always good and right? But mostly we find it difficult to do this in practical life. It is because we lack a cool attitude by nature (we cannot be blamed because humans are sinners by nature until they meet their Savior). So when we are already hot and when we meet hot temper in others, it is very natural to get heated up more than cool down. But remember when you come to God, Jesus becomes your thermostat and in turn He also recreates you to become a thermostat like Him. If I am connected flawless to Jesus, the ideal light, then it is possible for me to be a thermostat for Him in this world, being not worried about the chaos and uncertainties around me but in contrary I can be an element of change bringing the kingdom of God to the hopeless world around me. So strive your best to be always connected with Him, for He loves you and chose you and initiated you for this wonderful relationship with Him. Since He initiated, any reciprocation to Jesus will naturally energize us to be always connected with Him and be obedient to His Word.

Prince R Prabhu

Dr. Prince Prabhu works as a faculty member at the Teaching and Research Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University. He is an able Bible teacher, gifted in expositing the Scriptures with an apologetic edge. He also serves as an Elder in King of Glory Sanctuary. Conversant in both English and Tamil, he teaches in the El-Bethel Bible College learning Centres established all over India.

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