God has made it clear how he feels about lukewarmness. Revelation 3:15-16 says, “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.”
Ashley emailed to ask a question that many of us have wondered: “How do you know if you’re lukewarm?”
“Boy, that’s a good question!” answered Fr. Richard Simon, host of Father Simon SaysTM on Relevant Radio. “I have a feeling that someone who worries about being lukewarm is not lukewarm. Lukewarmness is a real spiritual problem, but you have to understand that we’re talking about feelings here. C.S. Lewis makes a wonderful point here that the devil wants us to feel holy; God wants us to be holy. You see the difference?”
If we don’t always feel a strong connection to God, are we lukewarm? “The idea that somehow if I’m not excited about all of this then I must be lukewarm – I don’t think that’s true. That’s not what’s going on. Lukewarmness is kind of not caring about not caring. Remember, the definition of love—we Americans are such romantics, we are conditioned to believe that love is something that you feel and if you don’t feel it anymore, you’ve stopped loving. But St. Thomas Aquinas taught us that love is to will the good of another.”
“Lukewarmness is not simply that you don’t feel like you used to feel. I think that in the life of the Christian, there are a lot of times when the Lord tells us, if there were nothing in this for you, would you still follow me? I think that’s what happened when he said, ‘Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.’ Well, Peter said, ‘Where would we go? You have the words of everlasting life.’ At that moment, I think the apostles saw their dreams of political importance and wealth just evaporating. And they realized they were in it for Christ,” said Fr. Simon.
If there’s nothing in it for you, would you still follow the Lord? “As we grow in the Lord, what’s happening is that we’re coming to love Him because he is worthy of all our love. Which is what perfect contrition is.”