17th February 2011

Are You A Radiator Or A Drain?

“Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.”
Matthew 15:30 (NIV)

So what does it mean: are you a radiator or a drain?

Well, radiators are attractive, warm, friendly and welcoming places to be. Who hasn’t, coming indoors out of the freezing cold, gone and stood by a radiator to warm up? Radiators are also connected to a hidden power source.

In contrast, no one wants to stand next to a drain. Drains are cold and mysterious—you can only see the grill at the top. Everything is sucked into the drain and just disappears. Sometimes they even smell a bit! Drains are not welcoming things.

In the same way you get ‘radiator’ and ‘drain’ people.

Several scriptures refer to the multitudes or crowds that were attracted to Christ, who, filled with the Holy Spirit, was undoubtedly a radiator. A radiator type person is warm and friendly. They always seem to have a smile and a cheerful word for others. They seem to have time for other people and take an interest in other people’s lives and situations. Radiator-type people tend to attract and give out warmth and friendliness. They are people you want to know and relate to. Radiator-type people always leave you feeling uplifted, encouraged and energised.

But sadly there are drain type people, too. No matter how much you try to cheer them up, no matter how friendly you are, they always drain the energy and cheerfulness out of you. Their main focus is on themselves and they don’t seem very interested in others. In any conversation they will quickly turn any subject to themselves, their problems and their needs. Often they need other people, but tend to repel rather than attract. Drain-type people leave you tired and ‘drained’.

So what type of people should Christians be? Like a radiator, we are connected to a hidden source of power which energises and renews us. Because of that we should be focused on, and care about, others. Like Christ, we should attract people. We may not have the power to heal in the same way he had, but we have the power to uplift, to encourage, to listen, and sometimes just to be there. We should radiate warmth and the wonderful joy that comes from a relationship with God.

In reality we can all be radiators or drains at different times. The key for a Christian is to be a radiator most of the time. When we’re not, we need to draw on that hidden power source to warm us up again.

Father, we live in a difficult and stressful world. Give us the love and concern for others to enable us to radiate love, warmth and encouragement.

Study by Keith Hartrick

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