Are my deeds hot or cold?

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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Some parts of the Bible are easy for me to understand, although sometimes challenging to practice. Verses such as “Do not worry,” “Forgive one another,” and “Consider it joy when you face trials” are clear even if applying them to my life takes a little work.

On the other hand, Revelation 3:15-16 puzzled me. (And in the spirit of full disclosure, it’s not the only verse in Revelation I don’t thoroughly understand.) It took a little digging for me to discover background information that brought clarity to the verses directed to the church in Laodicea. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Laodicea was a wealthy city. It boasted a prosperous banking industry, a medical school that produced an eye ointment, and a wool manufacturing industry. Jesus later addressed their self-sufficiency, but first focused on their deeds, which He described as lukewarm.

Apparently, the actions of the Laodicean church weren’t like the famed hot, healing springs of the neighboring city of Hierapolis. Nor were their deeds cold and refreshing like the mountain water of nearby Colossae.

With this in mind, I reread the verses in Revelation, and rather than point a finger at the church in Laodicea, I asked myself, “Are my deeds (my actions and my words) hot or cold? Are they comforting, soothing and healing like hot springs? Are they as refreshing and invigorating as cold water?”

I’m going to focus on this a little more before I tackle another verse in the Book of Revelation.

Ronny can be reached at