I’ve written often here about Sam and what a lover boy he is. Even though he is now nine years old, if we walk anywhere together, he grabs my hand. I’ve never once mentioned it to him because I’m terrified that it will stop. I love having that soft, warm hand in mine. He also, even in his giant state, likes to sit on me. Just yesterday he was doing some reading for school and insisted on sitting on my lap instead of beside me on the couch. I have no power to say no, because I know these days are fleeting. But honestly he just loves me, and it is such a gift. He can also be a complete little beast. I’ve written about that here too — he can turn on you in a nasty way (here’s an example). I’ve been thinking about him this week, and how he’s hot or cold (although thankfully mostly hot). The worst thing in the world would be for him to be indifferent. Can you imagine living with someone, loving someone, and having them be indifferent toward you?
I’ve been thinking about this because last week I went to a Kay Arthur women’s conference here in Chattanooga. An old neighbor of mine from Virginia now lives in Nashville and she told me about the conference and asked if I wanted to go. I had seen Kay Arthur at a McLean Bible women’s conference about seven years ago and was so inspired by her. Not only did she love Jesus and speak truth, she was funny and energetic and attractive in her seventies. Well guess what? She’s going strong at 82! I mean in a jaw-dropping way. You’d almost have to see her to believe it, she looks so amazing and is funnier than ever.
She was teaching from Revelation 3 about the church at Laodicea. The text is a familiar one — it is where Jesus says that the believers there were neither hot nor cold. So you know what He said He would do with these lukewarm believers, right? He said he’d spit them out. But right when Kay came to this passage she began to have a terrible coughing fit. She was gagging to the point of throwing up, right there on the stage. It went on and on. I had a wave of panic wash over me like I was about to witness something terrible. And then without hesitation she said, in her casual speaking voice, “That’s what Jesus said He will do to those that are lukewarm.” She was acting the whole thing out! Most people seemed to understand that, but I found the performance way, way too convincing! I was tremendously relieved to not witness her death, and a little embarrassed that had I been more focused on the passage, instead of admiring her style and poise, I may have recognized it as theatre.
But either way, I’ll certainly never forget it. The one thing you do not want to be in this life is lukewarm. And you know what? Sometimes I am. Just like a glass of water sitting on the counter, we trend towards lukewarmness in our faith. We’ve got to be vigilant, and keep putting the kettle back on the burner. Even adding ice would be better than stagnating and becoming lukewarm.
The Bible commentary by Matthew Henry says that if Christianity is worth anything it is worth everything, and that “an indifference is inexcusable.” Praying today that I will never be indifferent, that I’ll be faithful to continue to seek God, to stand for Him no matter the cost, that I’ll not let my faith grow warm.
All I need to do to remind myself of how grievous it would be to be lukewarm toward Christ, is to think of Sam, or anyone else I love, and consider what indifference toward me would feel like. And I’m human. I haven’t loved perfectly. I haven’t given my life. I haven’t paid for another’s sins. How much worse then to be lukewarm toward Christ! May it never be.
Fire up that kettle this weekend and always!