As we give thanks to God for his “abounding faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6), it is good for us to examine our own faithfulness. How faithful are we? This is important because “it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). And a gauge of our faithfulness is our level of lukewarmness.
Don’t Grow Grey with Age
Lukewarmness is the dying of conviction. And conviction often dies the slow death of a thousand compromises.
When I was 22 years old, I worked at a company where my supervisor was defrauding customers and asking me to comply by fudging inventory reports. I refused and raised serious concerns about his conduct. This got back to the company owner, who one day asked me into his office and sagely said, “When I was your age I also saw things in black and white. But I‘ve come to learn that things are mainly shades of grey.” That was baloney. Fraud isn’t grey. If the customer became aware of the fraud, the colors would have sharpened very quickly.
But what had happened to this owner that made his youthful black dilute to grey with age?
Well, now that I’m near the age he was back then, I understand more. I know how longer, broader life experiences can season and temper the soul. But I also know that his sort of “greying with age” is not the tempering of age-acquired wisdom. It is the result of failing to be faithful, of being lured and enticed and ensnared by our sinful desires (James [1:14]).
Truth does not grey with age. Rather, our moral eyes cloud from the cataracts of compromise. And with each compromise we lose more resolve to see truth and be faithful to it. We call black grey only to ease our consciences.
Lukewarmness is a Symptom of a Disease
Most of us in the prosperous West live in modern day Laodiceas (Revelation [3:14]–22). Our faith is not endangered by persecution but by the constant temptations of worldly compromise. Jesus, the “faithful and true witness” (verse 14) rebuked the Laodiceans for having grown “lukewarm” (verse 16) in unfaithfulness and exhorted them to “buy from [him]. . . salve to anoint [their] eyes” (verse 18) to heal their cataracts of compromise.
If a fever is a symptom of disease in the body, lukewarmness is a symptom of the disease of unfaithfulness in the soul. And like all of us experience bodily fevers and fight disease, all of us experience lukewarmness to greater or lesser degrees and must fight the disease of unfaithfulness.
Written by Jon Bloom
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