It is a New Year, and with it come new expectations, commitments, and challenges. The world is changing rapidly. With 2016 being a Presidential election year, the changes will be even greater and more significant. Sometimes these changes can be overwhelming, frustrating, and even discouraging.
I want to give two pictures. One picture is of a thermometer. Whether it is a thermometer for medical purposes, or one in your home or yard, a thermometer has one job. A thermometer reads the temperature. A thermometer reflects what the temperature is. That is all that is expected of a thermometer. It reacts to the environment around it.
The other picture is a thermostat. A thermostat is also related to temperature, but it has a completely different task. A thermostat controls the temperature. A thermostat in your home or business sets the temperature. It controls when the air or heat turns on or off. A thermostat is used to actually change the temperature in a room.
Which will you be this year? Will you be a person and leader who reflects the temperature of the situation, meeting, or people around you? Will you simply react to what is going on around you? Or will you determine to be a thermostat and change the temperature around you? You can be a change agent in your division, with the people you work with, in a meeting, with your family, or on a call. You can change and set the temperature around you through your attitude, tone, and with what you say.
The Bible teaches us about this. In Galatians 5:22-23 we see a listing of the fruit of the Spirit. This listing is not a cafeteria to pick from, but an expectation of those who are surrendered to the Holy Spirit in their lives. Only through Jesus can we be surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit. But when we are surrendered, then we can be a thermostat that controls the atmosphere around us. We will then be a people who reflect the fruit of the Spirit. Let’s strive to be men and women who are characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Keith Cochran, Chaplain