Am I A Thermometer or A Thermostat?

am_i_a_thermometerIs my thermostat in working order? I don’t mean the one on the wall of our home, adjusting the temperature in the rooms of our house. Rather my internal thermostat; the spiritual gauge which helps maintain the temperature of my heart and life. I’ve discovered something true. When my internal thermostat is placed at God’s proper setting, myself, my family, and my relationships remain in balance. Every once in a while it’s important to do a heart check and be sure everything is in working order.

What happens when our internal temperatures get too hot? We tend to boil over and spew a burning mess over all those around us. We make rash choices, blow up, and occasionally stop working all together. And when we get too cold? We freeze out those we love, making them feel unwanted. We refuse to think of others, giving them the cold shoulder and becoming self-centered.

Our thermostats can be hard to maintain if we are doing it on our own strength and fail to establish helpful “programs”. We need to rely on the Lord (John 15:5). We need to set boundaries for ourselves, knowing that when we hit a certain point a change needs to be made.

When we get too hot, we need to learn to take a walk, pray about the situation, breathe, and let things go. We can call a good friend and “let off some steam”, allowing us to vent and better get a handle on the problem. When we get too cold towards others, we need to work on building the relationship and showing our feelings. We need to think of their needs, listen carefully, and speak kindly. We need to love on them and let them love us in return.

As my children’s parent and educator, part of my job is to teach them about their own internal thermostat and how it works; to help them learn their limits and how to put programs into place which access the assistance God is so willing to provide. My job is to also example a properly operating system. Are my children witness to an out of control parent, or one who adjusts to the continual changes of the day? If I am failing to model gracious, purposefully redirection of the temperature in our homes, how can I expect anything different in my children.

We are not called to be thermometers; constantly being changed based on the mood of our homes. We are called to be thermostats; constantly maintaining to remain inline with God’s purpose. Having a balanced thermostat will keep our family unified and peaceful. We will begin to recognize when the temperatures get out of normal range and how to adjust, bringing us closer to Christ. May we rely on the Lord to keep our hearts aligned with His will, and may He give us strength to work accordingly.

We’d love to learn… How do you readjust your internal thermostat when it gets out of range?

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
I Timothy 4:16

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2 thoughts on “Am I A Thermometer or A Thermostat?

  1. Great, well written post. Good question. Prayer is the start, from that active discernment, reflection, and then physical exercise. Anxiety management has to be part of my process here; it’s not so much the stress or strain of a busy life with lots of responsibility. It’s the physiological reaction to those things that come from a past filled with abuse. For example: panic for no good reason; a sense of emergency when there is none. All could be triggered by loud noises etc.

    Maintaining an even thermostat requires knowing my limitations in this area. (None of which are my fault, but were handed to me, so add into all that, fighting victimhood; self pity…) Maintaining an even thermostat requires knowing that God isn’t limited or intimidated by my limitations. He is Victor, I live in that.

    Two verses live in the back of my mind:

    Revelation 3:16 & Galatians 2:20.

    Don’t be a lukewarm Christian & remember that: ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’

    I’ve heard the distinction between thermometer & thermostat used in a similar way before. I think it was in a Ken Blanchard book on Christian leadership called ‘Lead Like Jesus’. It’s always good to be reminded about it.

    Good thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a working mom, but provide additional support and challenge to my children as if I homeschooled. Helping children find balance in the world is so very difficult – your temperature angle is an enlightening way to look at this topic. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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