Has anyone ever asked you, “How are you doing” and then upon responding “Good,” they then ask again, “OK, how are you really doing?” Don’t you hate that? Now, not only do I feel bad for answering in a perfunctory way but I have to show my true feelings and ‘fess up to my imperfections once again. Darn those people who really care about me! All sarcasm aside, there are people who know me and can read me like a book. You know the kind…one good stare and suddenly the room feels a lot smaller. Some of them even enjoy the freedom to share what their “reading” without giving me a chance to think up some good excuses. I could stay stubborn and insist that “Yes, all is truly well and good.” I’ve even perfected those actions and behaviors that fail to betray my true feelings or thoughts. However, over time I’ve also learned that there are some things I cannot fake and if truth be told, I do not want to fake. In fact, I’ve begun to explore a place of security where I actually want those invested in my eternal good to ask the hard questions. It’s from that place of security that I offer you a brief analogy for how I’m really doing…
The point of a thermometer is to read our temperature. If we have a fever, the thermometer will show it and to what degree. If it is too far above or too far below our normal range of homeostasis then action is needed and rapidly so. Either we need to cool off or we need to warm up. It is a useful tool that has been around for a long time and has even saved lives. My analogy is this: Is there a thermometer for more than just my physical body? How can one take the temperature of someone’s emotional or spiritual well-being? If you didn’t really know me but wanted to take those respective “temperatures” what would you look for?
Recently, our pastor preached on Revelation 4-5 and the role of worship in revelation. This powerful sermon illustrated several important facets of worship including how worship reveals the heart of the Father to us and vice versa. It was after pondering this point in our small group that I came to this conclusion: if you really wanted to know how I am doing and if you really wanted to gauge my temperature as a leader then all you have to do is ask me, “How is your worship?” Let me break it down this way – I can fake a lot of things and make it seem like everything is hunky dory but one thing I can’t and won’t fake is worship. Worship in this context, building upon Romans 12:1-2, is no-holds-barred passionate love-making from a humbled creation to his Holy Creator. If tears are shed or hands are raised then so be it or if I have to sit in quiet reflection without an uttered word then so be it.
This worship thermometer doesn’t gauge my temperature on what you see on the outside but it does have a read on my unabashed exuberance for Christ. Let me say it this way: the classic way to define sin is “missing the mark” but I think another way to define sin is “anything that interferes with my worship.” I may be able to look you in the eye and I may be able to say everything is alright but if I’m not chasing after God with my whole being then something is wrong. Before you begin to cry “legalism” here, understand first what I’m saying: God’s worthiness of worship has nothing to do with my ‘performance’. In fact, the very rocks will cry out His praise if necessary. My point is simply this: that if you truly wanted to take my spiritual temperature, if you wanted to get a read on me and if you wanted to take my pulse as a leader then all you would have to do is ask, “How’s your worship?” By the way, how is your worship?