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  • Thermometers And Thermostats

    I have been doing some thinking about something ... about thermometers and thermostats, of all things. I picked up one of my dictionaries and here is what I found according to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,.(Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated 2009.) Here are the definitions of a thermometer and a thermostat.

    n. thermometer
    an instrument for measuring temperature.

    an instrument (usually a thin, glass tube with mercury in it) used for measuring temperature, especially body temperature. (Example: The nurse took his temperature with a thermometer.)

    Thermometers also measure the temperature of foods like candy and meat. They tell us if the refrigerator is cold enough to keep our food safe and if the building or room is warm enough in the winter and cool enough in the summer. I have a gas fireplace. In the winter we set it at a certain temperature and if the temperature in the room falls below that level, the thermostat is triggered and the flames come on automatically to warm our house back up to a comfortable level.

    n. thermostat:
    A device, as in a home heating system, a refrigerator, or an air conditioner, that automatically responds to temperature changes and activates switches controlling the equipment.


    Actually, I have been doing a LOT of thinking about thermometers and thermostats since I saw the definitions of each instrument. I've come to see it this way...a thermometer can only do one thing. Its entire life it just hangs around telling us, "Its too hot in here" or "Its too cold." That thermometer does nothing, but just tell all of us how hot it is or how cold.

    But a thermostat, now that's a different story. That thermostat actually does something about it! When triggered, the thermostat on a heating unit will bring the temperature in a room up if its too cold or on an air conditioning unit the thermostat will lower the temperature if the room gets too hot.

    Unlike a thermometer, the thermostat gets busy making everyone's life more pleasant!

    Its the thermometer who just sits around complaining.

    I've always said that people can be put in categories of twos -- saints or sinners, conservatives or liberals, fat or thin, ugly or attractive, etc. Now I'm adding one more category. We are all living, breathing thermometers...or we are living, breathing thermostats!

    Since I've been thinking about this, I can recall times I have listened as someone complained about their husband or their wife or their children. Oh! And they have the worst job in the world, you know, and are angry at everyone. Other drivers on the roadways add to their hostility. And usually these people never seem to see a well day. They are always sicker than anyone else or have the worst afflictions of any other human on earth! I've seen these folks whine and carry on and on about this and that and it didn't take long until they had me down in the dumps with them!

    I've decided that kind of people are thermometers! All they know to do is gripe and complain. It really is true that misery loves company and self-pitying people, probably without intending to, drag me down to their level of depression by the time I leave them! Yes, these people are thermometers.

    Can't you tell when a thermometer walks into the room? On the other hand, can you tell when you are in the company of a thermostat? Thermostats get busy making life better for everyone around them! Instead of sitting around saying, "Its too cold in here," they go to work warming things up. Thermostats find joy in serving others! I am always happier around thermostats than I am with thermometers.

    A long time ago I heard about a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated life because she was blind. She hated her family, because they could see and she couldn't. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I would marry you.'

    One day someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was finally able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

    He asked her,'Now that you can see, will you marry me?' The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that and she could not bear the thought of looking at his blind eyes for the rest of her life. So she refused to marry him.

    Her boyfriend left in tears and some time later he wrote a note to her saying, 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'

    Which one of them was the thermostat?


    • Before complaining about the our food - we should think of those all around the world who have nothing to eat.


    • Before we complain about our husband or wife - we could think of those who cry out to GOD for a companion.


    • Before we complain about our life - think of someone who died too young.


    • Before whining about the distance we drive - think of someone who must walk the same distance on foot.


    • Before complaining about our job - we could think of the many unemployed and the disabled; those who wish they had a job.


    When depressing thoughts start to get us down - put on a smile and think: I'm alive and still here to go on living the gift of life that God has given me!

    Lord help me never to be a thermometer. Show me how to always be the thermostat!

    Jude 1:16 (Thermometers!)

    These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

    Psalm 3:3 & 5 (Thermostats!)
    3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

    5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. miepie's Avatar
      miepie -
      Wonderful as always mawma..... You are definitely a thermostat in my life!

      Love you lots,
      Mieke
    1. MaryFreeman's Avatar
      MaryFreeman -
      You are always so wonderful.... Thanks for this.... And I'll pray that you are always in the company of thermostats!
    1. Diggindeeper's Avatar
      Diggindeeper -
      Thank you ladies! May God richly bless you because both of you are definitely THERMOSTATS! Anyone here knows that...
    1. hasset's Avatar
      hasset -
      This is an amazing article which blesses those who read it. May God bless you for telling me how to have a joy full life; sacrificing our life to others like our Lord. I stops me to see whether I a thermometer or a thermostat. Really amazing.

      Bless U
    1. Jeanne D's Avatar
      Jeanne D -
      Wow I love this analogy. I have had my thermometer moments, although I strive to be more like a thermostat.

      Very insightful! Thank you!

      Jeanne
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