A cesspool is a disgusting place. It is a reservoir for human waste. It’s not a place where a little water could make much impact, except to raise a stink. Nothing grows there.
And if someone says you look as stirred up as a cesspool, it’s not a compliment.
Lukewarm people are hard to motivate. They neither love nor hate what they’re doing. They are like sails that are hung and not adjusted in a particular direction. Should the wind blow, they will sail at nature’s will. They aren’t living intentionally; rather, the hands of fate are tossing them about.
Jesus could see all this in the church of Laodicea. Notice in Revelation 3:14 He addresses Himself as the “true and faithful witness”. So when He says they are lukewarm and tepid, they really are.
If you saw the movie Dead Poets Society, you may remember this scene. Neal Perry is talking with his roommate, Todd Anderson. After watching him cower in fear and hide his gifts from the world.
The conversation went like this:
Todd: “W-What is that supposed to mean?”
Neal: “You’re in the club! Being in the club means being stirred up by things”. You look about as stirred up as a cesspool.”
Todd: “S… You want me out?
Neal: “No! I want you in! But being in means you gotta do something, not just say you’re in.”
Todd: “Well, listen, Neil, l, I appreciate this concern, but l-I’m not like you.”
There are three things you can see in this exchange.
First, being lukewarm imprisons people.
When you’re in prison, you are locked in. You can’t try another way, start over, or get free. Since you’re stuck, you adapt to that environment and the world at large seems like a distant and strange place. There is no room for a better way.
Second, you have to change your mind. It takes the will to make a new decision that leads you to escape the prison.
Third, an outside influence has to open the door.
This is why Jesus came. To animate you with His love. To free you from the bondage of the prison of mediocrity and sin. To open the door to a better way of living.
Then you’re free to be on fire, to live as God intended with zeal and grace and power.