Taking inventory of my idols
There’s a lot going on, on top of which I’ve been getting a little spiritually wrecked again recently. Don’t worry, it’s a good thing. But good things are not always easy, in fact, they’re often difficult, it’s part of what makes them good. So I’ve been listening to this song (which I will post below), called “Worship is more than a song”. It’s deep and cuts deeper. It’s a challenge to reevaluate our idea of “church”, its functions, and purposes. It’s not a new concept necessarily, this thought that just maybe all of the programs and pageantry is serving to drive us farther from God rather than closer to Him. In fact, because of the very term “praise and worship music” there are those who have rejected a whole genre of wonderful music because they don’t care for how it is categorized, but that’s not what this post is about.
No, this post is about idols. When I was in elementary Sunday school we learned that idols were “graven images” that the people in the Bible worshiped instead of the true God. In middle school we learned that some people still worship idols today. In high school we learned that in some ways, even we worship idols. The list of modern day, socially acceptable idols always included TV, often included sports, and sometimes included other people.
But there’s a little bridge on this song that has gotten me thinking about just what may qualify as an idol in my life. Here’s what it says:
“Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol
And anything that I give all my love is an idol”
That really encompasses a lot. A lot more than a piece of wood carved and covered with shiny stuff. A lot more than TV. A. Lot. More.
So this is what I’ve been thinking about for the past few days. This is what’s been on my mind. It’s easy to look around at others and with my heart full of pride say, I don’t do those things, I don’t have those idols. But it’s far from true.
I have idols in my life and that’s a problem, that’s the bad news. The good news is that God is ready and waiting for me to tear them down and focus all of my affection on Him. It’s not wrong to have important things and people in our lives, they just can’t be more important than Him. His is a Jealous God whose love for us passes anything we can imagine. No one would fault a husband for being jealous over his cheating wife, why do we think God is any different?
The wonderful paradox is that if we love God with all that we have our capacity to truly love others will be infinitely expanded. It’s no sacrifice to love God.
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