Thermostat or Thermometer
Michael Whitehurst likes to challenge his buddies to be accountable. Sometimes he uses metaphor. He asks: "Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?"
Thermometers measure the temperature. Thermostats regulate it. A thermometer reflects conditions as they are. A thermostat adjusts the conditions to a new level. One reflects the status quo. The other changes it.
This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Both thermometer and thermostat serve a needed purpose. At different times, we choose to be one or the other. In a difficult situation, we must ask: "Do I accept the status quo or do I initiate change?" Knowing when to lead and when to follow takes wisdom, intuition, and judgment. But it's part of the high calling of our daily work.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.