A thermometer responds to its environment, its atmosphere.
A thermostat sets the environment. A thermostat sets the atmosphere.
Have you ever been somewhere and all of a sudden you notice…”ewewewew…what is that smell?” The atmosphere had been affected by something. Or, “wooooowww, what is that smell?” It is subtle. It is invisible. But it is unavoidably present.
Have you ever been in a conversation and suddenly the atmosphere feels a little sticky? Gossip, off-color, or just negative? Or the ambiguity of sarcasm? You have a choice. Will you just be a thermometer and respond? Or can you gently reset the conversation by subtly changing the direction? The obvious – “I am changing topics because it is just too “HOT” in here” or the haughty “well, alright, then” doesn’t always go over well, but a gentle segue to another topic can cool the atmosphere and everyone is comfortable again.
Iron sharpens iron, and the right kind of stone will create different kinds of edges on a blade, but rubbing a knife on a rock just dulls the knife and scratches the rock.
People by nature can be a POSITIVE Thermostat or a NEGATIVE Thermostat. Which one are you? Are you always complaining, wishing something were different? When you hear something, do you jump in and immediately point out all the reasons why it will never work?
Or are you just a passive observer of the atmosphere, the environment? “Well, I don’t have the code to the control switch.” Really? Are you a believer? Do you have Jesus in your heart? You have in you the Words of Life….or death. Created in the image of God, your words, like God’s, can create life or death. One of my favorite prophets says it like this “see the army in the dry bones.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to be a thermostat that affects positive change.
Sometimes you hear something and it lands on the fertile ground in your mind and knowledge gives way to understanding. About six or seven years ago, Pastor Kevin Choate preached about thermostats and thermometers in an elementary chapel. Those seeds have grown into resolution in my heart.