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Be A Thermostat Not a Thermometer

Can I give you some tough love?

In one of the churches I served, I found myself in the middle of a church conflict that reminded me of being in high school. I honestly was stunned at the way adult people were treating each other within the church. I know we are supposed to be a team for Jesus in today’s world, but at that time, all I heard was how we are failing. And suddenly I began to feel like I was failing.

Sometime later, the same behavior was being manifested after numerous attempts to help certain team members calm down and reconcile. Then a light bulb went off in me. Maybe these people don’t operate with the same Christian values of love, forgiveness, peace kindness that I do. Furthermore, maybe they don’t have to. However, that’s when I made a pivotal decision: they don’t have to, but they can’t be on the Jesus team if they don’t change the behavior to reflect the fruit of the Spirit.

So, I had to give them some tough love. And frankly, it is tough love that continues in 2022 for everyone who doesn’t manifest the fruit of the Spirit in their behavior. Whether it is in a church, a place of work, a board of education meeting in your local town or in your own house. To be on the Jesus team ALL of us must apply the following:

BE A THERMOSTAT, NOT A THERMOMETER. A thermostat reacts to the temperature. I used to live in a building where the control for the whole building was on the first floor. The people downstairs turned it up or down according to the temperature and their preference. The rest of us either froze or we were sweating. We react to temperature changes in various ways.

It was a battle. Finally, the owner of the building became the thermostat. He set it at one agreeable temperature and said, NO ONE CHANGES IT! He even put a lock on it. I started to think about how we need to change from being the thermometer that changes up and down to being the thermostat and a steady presence.

Here are some ways to be a thermostat as we work together in the Kingdom of God.

· Stop letting the tail wag the dog!

· Stop letting your “results” (or lack thereof) dictate your emotions.

· Stop jumping through the roof on a good day and falling through the floor on a bad day.

YOU are in control of YOU! No one else is.

Ø You can’t control that people don’t share your values or join in with your ideas, but you can control your emotions. When people react or fail to react, be a steady presence.

Ø You can’t control whether people respond to you in any way, but you can control your effort.

Ø You can’t control how long success takes but you can control your commitment.

We have been looking closely at how to cultivate unity in our world. Unity requires that we come from a spiritual place as we interact with others.

In 2022 be a thermostat, not a thermometer.

On the journey,

Donna

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