Don't Be Average

Measures of Central Tendency

Revelations 3:14-22 NIV

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.   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.  You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.  Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

When we study numerical data in statistics, we organize the data, draw visual summaries, rank the data, and calculate measures of central tendency, among other things. With measures of central tendency, we calculate the mean (arithmetic average) and the median (middle value) to try to get a meaningful way to describe the data. Most teachers use mean and median and other descriptive statistics on test results to decide if students are performing as we expect in a class. Most students are happy if they are near or above the middle of the pack on a test score.

However, God want more than a middling performance in terms of our Christian behavior. He wants our behavior to be far away from that of the average "good" person. In Revelations 3:14--22, John is told to write to the Laodicean church that their lukewarm performance is causing them to be in danger of eternal rejection. Likewise, we must not be content with our current state as a Christian. We must always work to be even more "extreme" for God.