One of the most startling lines in all of scripture comes from the Book of Revelation: “If you are neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16) This line not only jars my whole being, but it also reminds me of when I was a young sister and one of the older sisters who cooked in the infirmary was famous for her saying, “Hot things hot. Cold things cold.” Lukewarm was not part of her vocabulary.
Since the scripture quote comes from the written word of God it requires reflection. How do I live my life? Do I give it my all or am I lukewarm giving only minimal effort? This is a question that applies to every aspect of my life – ministry, relationships, spiritual life, community, society and so on. The choice of how I live my life is mine and mine alone.
The quote should be a challenge for everyone. How do you treat your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors? Are you genuinely concerned for all of them? Do you go out of your way to help them when help is needed? Do you reach out to the ill and lonely? Do you give your all at work? Is your spiritual life growing and deepening? Do you contribute your time, talents and treasure to your community needs? OR, Do you practice social distancing or stay homebound during this time of the corona virus? Would the word lukewarm fit you and your life style?
Each of us has been gifted with life. We don’t know how long we will live of how we will die, but I firmly believe we have been created to become as whole as possible – from the day we are born until the day we die. I don’t know anyone who has reached total wholeness, but we are called to develop our gifts and talents and to use them well, each and every day. By reason of baptism we are called to be holy. I believe we become holy to the degree we become whole, growing into the person God created us to become to the best of our ability. Do you consciously try to be your best person or are you lukewarm in living your life?
When the end of life comes and each of us faces our loving God, will we hear the words of loving welcome or will we be startled with the words, “You were neither hot nor cold so I spit you out of my mouth.” Only you can decide how you will live your life. Age has nothing to do with it. Every day is a new beginning. We should be better women and men today than we were yesterday, and be better women and men tomorrow than we are today. The choice is yours.
What areas of your life need a stronger commitment to grow in wholeness and holiness?
Can you identify any area of your life that could be described as lukewarm?