Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Are You Cold?

There is a sign I pass every day.  It is for a mental health clinic.  On this sign is often a saying.  This particular time, the phrase on the sign stated:

"Many are cold, but few are really frozen."

It got me thinking.  The world we live in right now seems to be more volatile and self focused than ever before,  It feels cold.  Frozen.  Unfeeling and unfriendly.  

Our society as a whole is becoming more and more violent from fear, anger, bitterness and greed.  We see more horror stories of hatred than embracing stories of love and hope.  The walls of pride get higher and higher as we seek to protect ourselves from giving and receiving from anyone. We have shut each other out, freezing our hearts from caring.

As I walk this season in my life, I find myself going through this cycle.  It hurts to admit it, but I do.  When your heart is broken by abuse of others, especially ones that we should be able to trust, the filter in which I see everyone else is cracked.  I bet that if we were really honest with each other, you probably have that struggle too.

We are all determined to always be the best, to be right, superior in our thoughts and actions.  We stop seeing others in the light of their best.  They become less than us.  We decide that the weakness of another determines their value to us.  Or we take it personal that they are stronger than we are in places where we might be weak. We won't see them for their strengths, appreciating the blessing they bring to our life, but a burden.  We stop taking advice and building each other up.  We become cold to them. Shut off.  

I believe this is especially true among believers.  I am sure I have said it before, but I see more abuse of each other among church families, defending that it is all in the name of truth.  It often seems like a competition of higher spirituality.  Who knows more truth, who is wiser, who is more holy.  We beat others down who can't measure up to our standard of faith, or who disagree with us in the approach.

How much it must grieve our Creator.  His children should be set apart from the world.  His children should be carrying each other in all manners, KNOWING that we are all going to finish the race together!  There is no need for competition. 

This world is going to struggle. Sin will become greater as we get closer to the return of Christ.  It is for a purpose.  A greater purpose!  We need to busy bringing Light (which creates warmth) to our cold world.  

Matthew 24:4-14 says: 
 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.[b] 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[c] will hear it; and then the end will come.
  When something is cold or frozen, there is no light. Light brings warmth.  I don't want to be guilty of shutting others out, even though I know I have been.  I don't want to be shut off from those who could be the very thing I need in my life to stretch me and teach me.  We all need to keep warm by staying close to the Light, and sharing that warmth with others. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be one that grows or even stays cold.  I want to be one of the ones that endures.

It is only by God's grace that we can achieve this.  And we may always struggle with it, but if our eyes are looking forward, and we are pressing closer to the Light for warmth, He will not fail to shine in us.