• Katelyn Dodge • January 12, 2021 •
Temperature is a big deal in the Dodge house. My husband and I can never agree on what the heat should be set on. It is not uncommon for Ryan to wear his coat and hat in the house as he mutters that I keep it too cold. He has heated blankets and/or space heaters tucked away in every room. If Ryan adjusts the heat to a temperature that is comfortable to him, I’m sweating and waiting for him to look away so I can knock the thermostat down a few degrees. We have different thresholds for temperature. Thinking about this physical difference made me consider how our emotional temperatures can effect our lives as well.
A cool temperature can be refreshing, but it can also be numbing. If your emotional thermostat is cold, you may appear disinterested or removed. If we’re running cold, we may miss an opportunity to minister to others due to a lack of approachability. Luke 6:31 tells us, “however you wish to be treated by others is how you should treat everyone else” (TPT). When you are feeling things on the cooler end of the spectrum, it may be difficult to engage and provide the empathy that others need. On days when your thermostat is dropping, how can you show the joy of the Lord?
A warm temperature can be comforting, but it can also be blistering. When my body gets too warm, it makes me irritable and I can’t think about anything else. I feel the same way when I get too warm emotionally. I can’t think about anything else. In Proverbs 15:18 we read, “hot tempers start fights; a calm cool spirit keeps the peace” (MSG). It’s so hard to control yourself when you’re burning up. Being emotionally hot does not always have to be a bad thing. If you feel strongly about something it can be a catalyst for positive change. But if we are not careful, that emotional fire may burn those around us. When you are running hot about something, how are you handling it? What steps are you taking to continue to show love and grace in those moments?
It is important to take into consideration the different thresholds we all have for temperature as we interact with one another. What is hot and uncomfortable to me may be just the right temperature for others. In our culture I think sometimes it becomes difficult to look outside of ourselves and see how we are effecting others. Are we burning too hot? Or are we being too cold? How is our temperature effecting how we portray ourselves as Christians? We see this play out in social media all the time. It is so easy to put every thought out into the world without considering how our words may bleed onto others. The Bible tells us there is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:4) and I believe that applies to our emotions; some days you’re just not going to present your best self. Our emotions do not have to be a bad thing, but our emotions can be weapons against each other if we are not careful. We need to be mindful of keeping our emotions in check.
We all have people in our life that can help us adjust our thermostat. If you get too hot or too cold, who are the people that you can turn to to help you regulate? Jesus is the ultimate thermostat adjuster. He has lived the human experience and understands our struggles. He saw his fair share of hot and cold temperatures during his time on earth in his interactions with others, and the New Testament is full of stories of how he navigated these emotional highs and lows. I find great comfort in knowing that the King of Kings knows exactly how I feel and is willing to take on my burdens. That is good news to me, and I hope it is good news to you too.