One Degree Matters


Thermometer in Pork

I was shocked after I diagnosed with dengue fever. It was a terrible disease where I had to be tangled with a lot of infuses to keep my body liquid balanced. It shackled me into a one tall stick where all the medical liquid pouches hinged upon. During those cloudy days, I reflected one simple thing that I thought was really important for us in searching the truth. That is the importance of accuracy, discerning which one is the real truth and which one is not. The difficulty lies in the likeness of the counterfeit truth to the real one. I imagined there are several analogies of temperature that illustrates this situation:


Cooking egg is one of the simplest and also the most tricky task in the kitchen. It is basically simple food to cook and very versatile to prepare in almost any kind of dish. However, to cook it perfectly, it requires a certain degree of knowledge to prepare it beautifully. It is no wonder we often heard a question like “How do you like your eggs?” in the context of preparation. There are multitude of ways to cook an egg, and ultimately, the degree of temperature it cooks matters. Whether its 61°, 62°, 63° each has their own uniqueness according to the chef experts.


If degree of cooking an egg matters, then cooking a piece of meat matters all the more. Ranging from 46° to 100°, the temperature we cook our beef determines the range of pleasure we could derive from our tasty piece of red meat. A change of temperature within the beef affects its texture, flavor and juiciness of the meat hence significantly alter our dining experience. A seemingly marginal heat difference could determine whether we have a juicy and moist steak or a rubbery and dry piece of meat. Hence, the variation of degrees in cooking meat is as important as cooking eggs as described above.

Tempered Chocolate

After talking about appetizer in eggs, main course in steak, now we talk about dessert in chocolate! It is said that chocolate is the most temperamental ingredient in kitchen. There is a technique that chef use to cook chocolate called ‘tempering‘. Sometimes, it is necessary to produce a chocolate that is crisp in texture and has exciting snap when we bite into it. It requires thermometer and need to be as precise as possible, methodical and clinical in ensuring it achieves the right consistency. It plays with the chocolate’s temperature curve by involving melting and cooling the chocolate until it is done. Certain type of chocolate has different temperature goals than the other types. In this case of cooking, the variation of temperature is crucial.


Lastly, when we consider that a slight difference in temperature when we cook can yield such a crucial difference when we eat them. Then, a variance of heat within our body is even more important. When I was infected with Dengue Fever virus, my body temperature went from 37° to 38°. This one degree of difference might seem trivial, but let me tell you, it was enough to cause me all kinds of discomfort and ultimate lethargy in my body. It may sound funny, but it is important for us that we keep our body temperature around 36°, otherwise something wrong could be happening inside our body.

As I reflect on these interesting facts about what a small difference in temperature could result in, I realised that it is also important to keep our understanding about God’s truth in check. We often hear or read about somebody else interpret Bible verses in church or from our books or else. It is crucial to not take what they are saying 100% before we check ourselves about the accuracy of the message. I am not saying that we should not listen to what other people sharing about the truth of the gospel. What I am against is to be gullible in everything what we receive from others, especially about the gospel.

Therefore, it is important to keep our accuracy in understanding the bible in check.

Apostle Paul reminds the importance of our accuracy in understanding the truth in 1 Thes 5:21, advising us to hold fast into what is true and to test all things that we receive. Testing its validity, accuracy and application in our life. It is important because, as it is our mission to share the gospel and make disciples of Christ, then we need to understand what the Bible is actually saying. We cannot share the truth, if we have not understood it first. It is even more important when someone who has not been convinced yet about the truth of the gospel questions why we believe in Jesus. We need to be ready to share the reasons we believe, how we can be so sure without a doubt that Jesus is God and He is our savior.

Therefore, it is important to keep our accuracy in understanding the bible in check. It is important to discern the difference of meaning of what other people says and what the bible actually says. A lot of messages may sound make sense in regards to a certain verse, but the real meaning might actually be different. We need to examine the context of the message in a verse more carefully by using a lot of tools, be that Internet, a preacher, cell group friend, or even Bible Commentary and Encyclopedia. Whatever helps will do. It will bring more blessings if we understand the verse in the Bible as it is. I believe we all can do it because Jesus Himself has given us the Spirit of Truth, in whom He will guide us and teaches us into all truth (John 16:13). Remember, even one degree matters. Amen.