There are only two kinds of people in the world, thermometers and
thermostats. I meet both types every day. Thermometers are the ones
who are always checking the atmosphere and surroundings in your
life, always knowing and telling you how things are, at least
according to their perspective. These people do a lot of prying and
talking and pretty much keep things stirred up most of the
time. They are very judgmental and are quick to cast blame in every
direction except theirs. I call them thermometers because they offer
no solutions, only reminders of how uncomfortable things are. They
complain about their situation but do nothing positive to make
changes. They are all talk and no action. Philippians 2:14 has some
advice for thermometers, “Do everything without complaining or
Thermostats, on the other hand, are change agents. They not only
make an accurate assessment of how things are, they also do what is
required to change the situation. You need to be like this and
these are the kinds of friends you need. They can be depended upon
to do what is right when they know what the facts are. Thermostats
are consistent and dependable. II Thessalonians 3:13 says, “As for
you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.” This kind of
person will be there for you in good times and bad times.
So, I encourage you to test the atmosphere in which you live. Be a
thermostat and bring back into proper range those things that are
out of adjustment. Also, remember that even thermostats need to be
re-calibrated back to the standard ever so often. Your standard must
always be the Bible.
Common Sense Application
1. The next time someone complains to you about
something affecting them, ask them several questions.
a. When you prayed about this what did
God reveal that you should do? If they haven’t prayed about it, stop
right then and ask them to pray about it with you.
b. What action are you going to take
because of this problem?
c. Would you like me to go with you to talk
with the person with whom you have a problem? If they say YES then
go, but pray beforehand that God will guide your conversation.
2. Be honest with yourself (ask a trusted friend
to help you be honest) and determine if you are a thermometer or a
thermostat. Ask God to help you transition from the negatives of the
first to the positives of the second.