Labels#10. “Lukewarm.”

It is a strange irony that every lukewarm Christian that I have met has been the nicest of people. They were characteristically congenial, and when their sensibilities were challenged, they tended to default quickly to their agreeable dispositions. One would wonder if the world would be a better place if everybody was like them.

Of course, I am only skimming the surface of things when suggesting that every lukewarm person lives to please others. Crack that pleasing veneer open and you will discover the inner workings of a life masterfully calibrated to indifference.

Lukewarm doesn’t automatically mean disinterest in everything. It instead implies a lack of enthusiasm for anything operating beyond a shielded existence. Unless personally attacked, they will muster neither forces for your protection, nor goodwill for your peace. And any campaign to right a wrong or fulfil a need beyond themselves will be done with minimal effort and sacrifice.

The lacklustre deeds of the Laodicean church made them as sickening to Jesus as a tepid cup of tea. Jesus rebuked their spiritual apathy in the strongest possible words: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).

You can imagine the incredulity of these brethren as Jesus had exposed their half-heartedness and self-satisfaction: “Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked…”” (Revelation 3:17).

Church is a wonderful place of discipline and progress. But it is too easy to get settled into a life that satisfies all our needs. So, woe is us if we exchange our passion for ease.

Instead, we must pray for the fire of God’s Word to burn in our bones – “Lord, let it burn!”

John Staiger


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