How (Not) To Stay Lukewarm

It is so better for Christians to be either genuine (hot) or refreshing (cold) rather than be “lukewarm.” The point of this essential biblical truth resonates even today. God does not want His children to be “lukewarm” Christians.

 

Many thought they were Christians for years and swore they had a relationship with God. They even believed they could die at any moment and be welcomed into heaven.

Guess what? They were not. They did not. They would not.

 

What The Scripture Says 

The Scriptures hold a revealing account of a church that made God disappointed. Revelation 3:11-22 describes the Laodicean church with this serious charge, “…I wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

Logically, readers of this passage would conclude that being “hot” spiritually is understandable and even desired. At face value, this passage also implies that it was acceptable to be “cold” spiritually — a term that could mean lifeless, even dead.

But the Lord was not telling them that it was okay to be “cold” spiritually. Jesus is not implying that He wishes they were either spiritually cold or spiritually hot rather than being spiritually lukewarm.

The people of Laodicea understood precisely what the Lord was saying.  

 

How To Stay Lukewarm

Comparing your faith with others around you (including non-Christians) is the easiest way, as C.S. Lewis says, to travel down the gentle slope into hell.

THE DOWNWARD GLANCE.  This downward glance is when you look down on those who were “lesser” Christians to confirm your complacency. Your assurance of salvation largely came from the fact that you were outwardly better than many other goats who claimed to be sheep.

THE UPWARD GLANCE.  This upward glance is when you would come across genuine believers, you would feel moments of deep conviction. But to stay lukewarm, you concluded that these were Christian all-stars.  

Where You Did Not Glance: the Bible.  When you are lukewarm, God’s book collects dust in your room, unopened. Then God leads you to His word and saves you. God met a miserable person making him alive through His Spirit and His word. The lukewarm Churchianity was consumed by a living faith in the consuming God of the Bible.

 

Christ’s Solution To Being Lukewarm

Readers can find a practical and vital solution intertwined throughout the nine verses in this Laodicean church description in Revelations 3:14-22. This passage also holds one of the most familiar verses in all of the Bible, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

The meaning of these verses makes it clear that this is not a plea to unbelievers. The Lord God here is not asking those who have not put their trust and faith in Christ to open their hearts and accept Him as their Lord and personal Savior.

These people were already church members who were already a part of God’s family. Their problem here was not that they were not saved; they were “lukewarm” Christians — and were going through the motions of their halfhearted faith.

Christ asks His people to open their hearts to a consistent and genuine journey with Him. He wants His children to willingly enjoy a deeper fellowship with Him that can be genuine and reviving. He wants true believers to listen to Him and follow His lead. He wants His people to enthusiastically and willingly serve Him with sincere hearts.

The Lord God asks His followers in this church to make their faith trustworthy and honest and to be wholehearted and genuine followers of Christ. He asks them to give up their lives by going through the motions spiritually.

That is why He instructs them to “repent” — to understand that their lives of playing games spiritually must end. He is looking for “zealous” or committed followers who are vibrant and refreshing servants of the Highest God.

Final Words

Lukewarm Christians indeed make God sick.  Mensah’s book about spirituality emphasized that God cares for humanity. The question is, does humanity care for God? It is time for all Christ-followers to be committed to serving Him. If you are lukewarm and reading this, there is excellent news: There is still time. Repent. Believe. Rejoice. Live.

 

Being Kind To Yourself is Being Kind To Others

people holding hands

People have seemed to reach the generation where it’s easier to “cancel” someone and hop onto someone’s hate train in a snap than trying to understand them and the situation. It seems as though the world has entered a time where the art of empathy is lost.

People have lost the ability to share the feelings of another. They have reached the time when it has gotten difficult to understand and put oneself in another’s shoes and learn to see the situation through their perspective. However, the problem isn’t hopeless. It’s been said that empathy can be learned and that people can learn to be empathetic even to those they barely know.

But how? – Kindness.

Kindness is an essential factor in empathy. When people are kind, they can better pay attention and understand someone’s experience and emotions. Hence, to be more empathic, one needs to be kind. But why is there a need for people to be empathic or kind to others? There are many reasons to do so, but the most apparent reason is that it makes the world a better place to live in, not just for others but for oneself. According to author Kwaku Mensah, the root of all suffering is the mistreatment of men and women by their fellow men.

The best thing to do to be kinder to others is to be kinder to oneself first. When people aren’t kind to themselves, it’s easy to displace anger or any negative emotion they’re feeling toward others. This results in their unpleasant way of socially reacting to situations with others. Let’s consider some of the ways to avoid this.

Being easy to yourself

People say, “you are your worst critic and enemy.” People are the hardest on themselves. They expect the best from themselves and will typically constantly nit-pick their hard work. While doing so, they rarely show any appreciation or praise for their work despite doing their best.

People should learn to stop trying to be perfect because while they may not know or notice it about themselves, they are already perfect in their ways. Additionally, being easy on themselves means they need to find the sweet spot between striving and acceptance. Learn to discover and accept ceilings – their limits, the point where they’ve already done their best. Likewise, despite learning to accept limitations, they shouldn’t limit themselves and settle, especially if they know they can still do better. While accepting where their limits are, people should still strive to grow as individuals continuously.

Treating yourself

Nothing can soothe and uplift one’s spirits better than a good treat. Let’s face it, spending can be abused and can lead to highly destructive behavior. But if done correctly, spending a little on oneself can become the best self-care. After achieving something, people who buy things for themselves appreciate themselves and acknowledge their hard work.

Reminding yourself of your good qualities

In line with being their worst critic, when people look at themselves, it can be pretty easy to highlight the things they dislike about themselves rather than the great things they have. People should learn to lift themselves – rather than depending on someone for validation. It’s best if they do it to themselves first. It’s common sense that everyone is unique, and while it can be easy to feel insecure or a little jealous about others – and it’s completely valid to feel that way – one should learn to believe that they are enough in their way. 

Respecting yourself

Now that people have learned to remind themselves of how great they are, they should learn not to let others dictate their worth. Instead, they need to trust themselves and make their own decisions. They should refuse to compare themselves to others and learn to respect and know their values. This means they need to be true to themselves and their identity – prioritize themselves and what makes them happy. People should listen less to what people say about them in line with knowing their worth. Most of the time, they get discouraged about what makes them happy because others tell them so. “You shouldn’t do that,” or, “Why are you like that” – these sentiments should be ignored, and people should only work on figuring themselves out.

Learning to say no

When people stop saying yes to doing the things they don’t want to do, they create more time and energy to do the activities and be with people that make them happy. In saying no to things, especially those that make them uncomfortable, they’re drawing a boundary. This can make others know how to respect and treat them better. Therefore, learning to say no isn’t just people being kind to oneself; it’s also teaching others to be kind to them, which is equally important.

Before one makes any relationship with others, they first need to make a decent relationship with themselves. Before they can go out and become a good person to others, they need to make sure that they’re a good person to themselves.

The Unreciprocated Love

hand towards the sky

Are you troubled by the fact that you are often disturbed by the environments, people, matters, and things around you, stray far from God in your hearts, cannot feel God, and don’t have a normal relationship with God? 

Today people live in busy and crowded times. The fast-paced life lets one be occupied by various kinds of people and things so that people seldom have time to quiet their hearts before God and draw near to God and contemplate Him. Because their hearts are always distant from God, they live in a hurried status in real life, and they exhaust themselves dealing with varying people and things each day, weary both physically and mentally. You can relate this thought in the book entitled God Cares, But Do We? by Kwaku Mensah when he digs deep into the reciprocal nature of respect, listening, and taking responsibility for our actions. However, you must have once experienced this: When you quiet yourself before God, with His guidance, you can see through many things, and you will yield twice the result with half the effort in doing things. From this, you can see the key to establishing a proper relationship with God; that is to give your heart to Him. To achieve such an effect, one needs to pray to Him actively and often contemplate His love and grace on you. Then you’ll be touched by His Spirit unconsciously, and you can live before God constantly.

So how do you reciprocate God’s love? The following are the three Can’t-miss tips concerning how to build a normal relationship with God so that you can form a closer relationship with Him.

Tip #1. Pray to God With a Concentrated Heart. God’s words say, “But the hour comes, and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him” (John 4:23). First, begin from the aspect of prayer. Pray with undivided attention and at fixed times. No matter how pressed you are for time, how busy your work, or what befalls you, pray every day as normal, and eat and drink God’s words as normal.” From God’s words, one can see that if you want to build an intimate relationship with God, the most crucial step is to quiet oneself before God and pray to Him with a concentrated heart. This is a lesson that you are in urgent need of entering. Because you will encounter all kinds of external things every day that often disturb and occupy your heart and affect your everyday relationship with God, this requires you to have a place for God in your heart and pray at fixed times. Through prayer, God will use His words to enlighten and guide you from within, protecting your heart so that you can quiet yourself before Him at all times. Only in this way can your relationship with God become more and more normal.

Tip #2. Pray-Read and Ponder God’s Words Often. God’s words say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). Today’s fast-paced life often causes you to be busy with your job, family, and career, and as a result, you neglect reading God’s words, cannot quiet your hearts before God, and grow further and further away from God. If you want to build a normal relationship with God, you must read and ponder God’s words every day, and this way, you will be prone to gain the work of the Holy Spirit and the life sustenance from God. Just like the Lord Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

Tip #3. Seek the Truth in all things. After being corrupted by Satan, the human race worships money, power, status, and enjoyment and is often attracted and tempted by these things. When a person sees someone get a promotion or a raise, drive an expensive car, live in a luxury house, or see anyone else’s children test into college, his heart will be disturbed. One might even think that you are losing out by giving up worldly pleasures due to your faith in God and also want to chase worldly trends. Human hearts will stray farther and farther from God. So, this requires you to be quiet before God and seek the Truth to find the path of practice. God’s words say, “If ordinarily, you do not let anything slide in matters great or small if your every thought and idea is purified, and if you are quiet in your spirit, then whenever you encounter some issue, My words will immediately be inspired within you, like a bright mirror for you to check yourself against, and you will then have a way forward. This is called suiting the medicine to the illness! And the condition will surely be cured—such is the omnipotence of God. I will surely illuminate and enlighten those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and search with sincerity. I will show to all of you the mysteries of the spiritual world and the way forward, cause you to cast off your old corrupt dispositions as soon as possible, so that you may achieve life maturity and be fit for My use.” From God’s words, people can see that in all the things that happen to them, no matter how large or small, they should always be quiet before God, seek the Truth, discern right and wrong, and find a path of practice. This way, they will not be disturbed and constrained by the people, events, and things.

As long as people practice and enter according to the three paths above, your heart will often be quiet before God, and you will build a normal relationship with God and grow in life more quickly. In the end, you will be reciprocating God’s love for you.