“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” ~Rev 3:15-16
I have been misreading this texts for years. I thought Jesus was calling people to either be filled with zeal and vigor (hot) for the Lord or not (cold). That Jesus was giving us an either/or option. That too many of us remain in this gray area of a tepid faith.
Then our children’s director shared with me a helpful insight to this text. Both cold and hot water have important uses. Jesus is not allowing us to have the frigid faith of the frozen chosen. He is calling us useful.
I should have known this. I have, after all, begun to take daily ice baths.
I have discovered that cold water is invigorating. Submerging myself into 32 degree water after a long run is helpful. It helps to invigorate me. It reduces inflammation and is helpful in preventing injury. It energizes me.
Just as useful are hot soaks. I use hot baths to improve circulation and address muscle fatigue. These baths are restorative by increasing blood flow. Even smaller attempts to bring heat to my cold muscles just before a run helps to prepare my muscles for the endeavor they are about to undergo.
So when Jesus is telling us that he wishes our deeds are either hot or cold, he is saying that he wants our faith to either be invigorating or restorative.
Just don’t be lukewarm – do not be good for nothing, but good for something.
How can your faith be like a cold bath that is invigorating and energizing to accomplish something for the Lord?
How can your faith be like a warm bath that is restorative and releasing the tension you carry in your daily life?