If you ask most religious people, they would consider themselves to be a good person. But, even many non-religious people would count themselves in that camp. What about those of us who are Christian? How do we look at our own lives with regard to being the person Jesus wants us to be? What does it mean to be good? Is it enough to only go through the motions or to give God the bare minimum of time? The challenge for all Christians is to not become complacent or stagnant in their faith life.
In the book of Revelation, we see St. John was to write down messages for the seven churches, “As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches (Rev 2:20).” The seven churches were Ephusus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. It is the message that was sent to the church at Laodicea that speaks to being lukewarm about the faith. “And to the angel of the church in Laodice′a write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent (Rev 14-19).”
So, what about our lives? Do we consider ourselves to be lukewarm in the sense spoken here from Scripture? Well, let’s say you and I are going through life being a good person. Basically, you obey the traffic laws (for the most part), you don’t rob liquor stores or banks, don’t cheat on your husband, you don’t beat your wife, etc. So, as you coast through life, you go to mass on Sunday’s (or most Sunday’s), maybe say a prayer before you go to sleep at night, and you feel good that you give God some time during your week, even now and then do something religious that is out of the norm for you. When it comes to your relationship with God, you feel your life is comfortable and consider yourself a good person. I think this describes a lot of people. In fact, it describes me in some areas of my life. I think all of us, no matter who we are, has to challenge ourselves to not become too comfortable with regards to living the life Jesus calls us to.
When it comes to the word “lukewarm,” I think of drinking coffee that is not hot. I will warm my coffee in the microwave if it starts to cool down. I can’t drink it if it is not hot. Well, we see in the book of Revelation it says that when it comes to our faith life, Jesus would rather see someone cold or hot instead of lukewarm. He goes on to say that he will spew us out of his mouth if we are lukewarm. We have to ask ourselves what that would mean for us in an eternal sense, if Jesus would spit us out of his mouth.
In the book of 1 John it says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever (1 John 2:15-17).” We are warned not to become so comfortable with the world because it just might lead to a lukewarm response in our relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ.
So, let’s you and I continue to examine areas in our lives that we seem to be lukewarm in, and warm them up in the microwave of God’s love.
Until next time, God bless.