In Revelation 3:15-16, the brethren at Laodicea were told, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” In a word, they were stagnant. Stagnation is defined as “a lack of action or activity.” Stagnation occurs when we never change what we do or the way we think. It is easy to become stagnant in our work as a Christian or as part of a local congregation. Think about the following several ways stagnation can be manifested.
- “We have never done it that way.” As long as the ideas are scriptural, we should try them if they will enhance our efforts to teach the truth and to save people.
- “We are not ready for that, yet.” Some are not ready for certain actions is because many of the members do not feel a sense of responsibility in the work.
- “We are doing alright without it.” Complacency has become a way of life. Perhaps a change in habits or outlook can make a tremendous difference.
- “We tried it once, and it did not work out.” What if Paul had this attitude? You would not give up inviting people because some said “No” would you?
- “It costs too much.” Endeavors are never begun because some feel that just about everything costs too much. We are here to save souls, not money.
- “That is not our responsibility.” This causes the stagnation of many members because of our failure to realize and fulfill our responsibilities.
- “It will not work.” This is the attitude of a defeated, pessimistic, and negative person. Congregations need optimists who can look to the future and be faithful.
I hope no one would want to be like this for any length of time. The Lord said further to the Laodiceans, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:17-19). They thought they were doing good, but really they needed to repent.
Our motto should be, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). Let us be “fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11) in our daily duties and in our outlook for our congregation.