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Thermometer or thermostat?

Rev. Heath Smith • May 6, 2020 at 11:00 AM

Editor’s Note: With so many churches in our area having to suspend worship services during the coronavirus pandemic, we are asking local pastors to partner with us in bringing a daily message of hope and comfort to readers during this difficult time.

We are living in some unparalleled times. There is not a single person living that has ever seen a pandemic like what we are currently facing. Everyone has been instructed to “stay home and save lives.” However, in recent days, we have started to see some things open back up from quarantine. There is no doubt a lot of us are going stir crazy just praying and hoping things open back up so we can “get back to our lives.”  Therein lies the problem.

I believe most of us are desperate to get back to “the way things used to be.” What if I said, “I don’t want things to get back to the way they were.”?

What I mean of course is that the way things “were” is not close to what things could potentially be. God never wastes a trial. Everything that comes our way as human beings is meant to make us stronger. However, the tendency is to just “ride it out,” but I believe God is using this difficult time in our world’s history to hit the reset button and change the way we have been doing things.

Romans 8:28 declares that “ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” So could it be this is working together so we would view our lives in a different way? Could it be this is not a time for us to simply exist but to exact change? Could it be that now more than ever in our modern society we have an opportunity to be better, stronger and to exit the ruts of mediocrity?

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “There was a time when the church was very powerful. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”

In generations to come, when they look at their school history textbook will they see this was a time when humanity was a thermometer, simply recording ideas, principles and popular opinions? May it never be so! It is my prayer that when generations ahead of us look back on this difficult time they will see we were thermostats that transformed society in a positive way.

I challenge you to not just “hang in there,” but to take this time to think through where you are in life and make a plan to be better. I challenge you to find areas in your family where you can grow stronger. I challenge you to find ways to transform society in positive ways. Let’s join together and be thermostats that work together at making our world a better place for the glory of God.

Heath Smith is pastor of McPheeters Bend Missionary Baptist Church in Church Hill.

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