Suddenly, Scripture began to stab at my heart, warning me to make a change … FAST!
Paul wrote some stinging words to a compromising early church, yet I couldn’t help thinking he was talking directly to me:
“Don’t be naïve. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, The Message.)
As words like these cruised through my mind’s cinema, I knew I had to make a change. It was early in my own faith walk, and I, too, had been exhibiting more “show” than substance. I continually hid behind a façade of wealth and power, disguising my self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting motives as ultra-spiritual. In reality, I was a LUKEWARM CHRISTIAN who never met a COMPROMISE I did not take.
Eventually, I learned that lukewarm spirituality just doesn’t cut it. Actually, lukewarm and spiritual can’t possibly go together—they’re like oil and water. Christ-followers are either on the path with their Savior, or they’ve left the journey altogether. There’s no in-between.
Walking as a COLD Christian would actually be “better” because you would have made a clear and conscious choice to live away from Christ. No disguises needed. No fakery required. No compromises necessary.
C.S. Lewis shockingly captures what Christ has come to do in our lives. Lewis paraphrased Jesus’ lessons in Matthew 7, giving us an awaking jolt:
“No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”
As I surrendered myself to Christ, handing over the whole natural self, I began to discover my new self in Christ—and how to get my faith moving so I could:
- FOLLOW HIM without any disguises or compromises.
- FOCUS ON OTHERS and tell them about JESUS.
- LIVE IN COMMUNITY with Christ and other believers.
I ask God to help me fight off the ever-present temptation to compromise my faith and become a lukewarm Christian.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you disguising any compromises that keep you from growing in God?
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
“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. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Revelation 3:15-17