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  • Writer's picture~Kimberly Oden

Thermostat or Thermometer | Setting the Cultural Temp or Becoming Set by it


The other day, I arrived to a place of business & had to sign in at the lobby. As I tried to figure out which form to complete, the security guard asked me if I’d been vaccinated. It caught me off guard a bit & I could feel my temperature rise...


I had many witty questions I wanted to fire back in her direction, but the Holy Spirit instantly got ahold of my flesh & I simply replied, “I’m not comfortable sharing that information.” She went on to tell me that I needed to complete both intake forms, for the vaccinated & unvaccinated, so I did. When done, she reminded me that I didn’t complete question one, which asked if I had the shot...I felt my face flush yet again, but smiled & said, “Thank you but I’m not comfortable giving you my medical information.”


As I walked away I felt frustrated...not at her, but at the divisiveness in our nation and world right now. She’s just doing her job & I’m just walking in freedom...but am I?


My flesh reaction inside would state otherwise. There’s a verse that says, “A nation divided will fall.” It feels like our nation is divided from the top down, but here’s the thing: I can either choose to be a thermometer or a thermostat. I can let circumstances around me set my temperature or I can walk in integrity & set it.


We can remain whole in a fractured culture by remembering Whose we are. The word “integrity” means completeness. I find it fascinating that the root of the word is also used for a part of the high priest’s breastplate.


Paul writes in Eph 6:12 that we can stand against the schemes of the enemy by choosing to put on the WHOLE armor of God.


We can remain whole by remembering our roots. When we recall that we’ve been grafted into a tree with holy & cultivated roots, we can choose to respond in the Spirit rather than react in the flesh. (Rm 11:24).


Hear my heart, it’s not that what I said was wrong - it was the stance of my heart that was off...I allowed the fractured culture we live in to set the pace of my heart rather than let my King be my pacemaker so that I could set a culture of kindness rather than become set by it. Father, we thank you that even though it feels like a fractured culture surrounds us, remind us that we carry the culture of Jesus within...Holy Spirit lead us to a place of complete surrender so that our faces will


not flush with frustration, but rather shine with the resplendency of Your residing Light! Yes, help us become thermostats today rather than thermometers, setting culture with the kinda fruit only You can produce: undeserved love, marked joy, inexplicable peace, long-suffering patience, immeasurable kindness, Your goodness & an inordinate amount of self control.


There ain’t enough bootstrap-pullin’ that can make this happen. It’s is only in & through your Lordship that we can create the Christ-like culture we carry! Let it be, Lord!


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