This chapter was TOUGH to read.
There is a lot of stuff in this chapter but here is something he says that really stuck out to me....
"Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God's kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world?
I'm just going to go ahead and admit that I have had to think about those questions today.
But, Chan doesn't stop there.
He then gives a Litmus test of sorts about what a Lukewarm Christian looks like. Here is a quick list from the book (it's not the whole thing)......
*Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe "good Christians" do, so they go.
*Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church.....as long as it doesn't impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra to give and it's easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right?
*Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in a conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives.
*Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sins; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don't genuinely hate sin and aren't truly sorry for them. Lukewarm people don't really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one.
**Lukewarm people gauge their morality or "goodness" by comparing themselves to the secular world. They feel satisfied that while they aren't as hard-core for Jesus as so-and-so, they are nowhere as horrible as they guy down the street.
*Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, their thoughts, but He isn't allowed to control their lives.
*Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn't really possible for the average person, it's only for pastors and missionaries and radicals.
*Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return, like family, friends, and other people they know and connect with. There is little love left for those who cannot love them whose kids are better athletes than theirs, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional, and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached.
*Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the bare minimum, to be "good enough" without it requiring too much of them.
*Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don't have to trust God if something unexpected happens - they have their savings account. They don't need God to help them - they have their retirement plan in place. They don't genuinely seek out what life God would have them live - they have life figured and mapped out. They don't depend on God on a daily basis - their refrigerators are full and , for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.
There are many more of these statements in the book. As I read these statements and the scripture that goes with each of them I realized how much I really fit into a lot of them. I am ashamed to admit that, but it is true for me sometimes and to some extent.
I've been thinking for a long time about how it is a blessing and a curse to be a Christian in America. It's a blessing because we are free to worship our God in public and no one is trying to kill us for it.
It's a curse because we are so wealthy, so spoiled, so selfish, and so self-serving......all in the name of it's the American way.
I don't want to be a lukewarm Christian. I am writing this post for myself. After reading this today, I knew I had to do a post to help me put my thoughts together and remember this chapter. Because, I. Don't. Want. To. Be. Lukewarm!!
Revelation 3: 15-16 says... 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.
I don't want to be spit out. And I fully believe that can and will happen. Revelation states that pretty clearly.....
I want to be on fire for my savior. I want people to look at me and say I want what she has. Tell me what it is!!!! I want for others to see evidence of the kingdom in my life. I want for my relationship with God to actually CHANGE my life.....
Change my heart, O God!