You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3
The Bible says a lot about idolatry and to put it concisely, it doesn’t say anything positive. From the very beginning God sets the precedent for His people early on that His people shall have no gods except Him.
For many, including Christians, there is a great misunderstanding about idols. They are often thought of as ancient objects like statues and even household goods placed in certain places that were worshiped in various ways at various times.
Tim Keller in his book Counterfeit Gods says an idol is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, and anything that you seek to give you what only God can give.
Colossians 3:5 tells us to put to death; therefore, what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. I am not saying that all modern idols are inherently bad. Rather we need to evaluate our lives and make sure they are in the right order, that none of these things have become more important than God to us.
It’s easy to place our identity as something or someone other than God. Whether it be our social media following, our position at work, our abilities/skills, or the achievements we are after. For some their identity has become an idol. They have placed more value on who they are rather than in God.
It doesn’t matter if you have money or are broke. The pursuit of money and the acquisition of things is an idol for many in our culture. Many people trust their money more than they trust God. Money isn’t the problem; it’s how we use it and view it that can become a problem. If the motivating factor in your life is money and not God, then that’s an idol.
When our lives become all about the search for entertainment and chase of the best experiences we can find, then it’s become an idol. It’s become more important than God. We are obsessed with sex in our culture, it is everywhere. It might be the only thing we think about more than money. We have taken a gift from God and made it into the god of our lives.
While comfort isn’t bad, it can become damaging when it becomes the main pursuit in life. When comfort is an idol we will struggle when God calls us to something difficult.
Our cell phones are quickly becoming an idol for many. The problem isn’t our phones or social media or any form of technology. It’s the value we place on it that makes it a problem. When our lives revolve around how many likes we get, what our following looks like, or if we can’t sit in silence for 5 minutes without refreshing our news-feed,we might have an idol. When a good thing becomes an ultimate thing ultimately it becomes a destructive thing in our lives.
So how do we know if something has become an idol? Here are 4 questions to ask yourself to help you identify idols in your life.
• Where do I spend my time?
• Where do I spend my money?
• Where do I get my joy?
• What’s always on my mind?
Whatever is my idol is my god. Don’t let anything, even a good thing, take the place of God in your life. You do not have to bow down to a stone statue to be an idolater. An idol is whatever comes first in your life. Anything that comes before Jesus Christ in your affections or priorities—that is your idol.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
ADVICE FROM PROVERBS:
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart.” (Prov 3:5)
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Prov.12:15)
“Where there is no guidance, a people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” (Prov. 11:14)
“Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Prov. 15:22)
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” (Prov. 19:20)
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
When building a team, always search for the people who love to Win. If you can’t find any, look for the people who hate to lose.
Be honest. If people heard what you are thinking most of the time, you would be in either jail or a mental hospital.
We are all lonely for something. We just don’t know what we are lonely for. David Foster Wallace
What God knows about me is far more important than what others think about me. Ken Whitten
Say about people only what you would say to them. Jim Denison
The choices we make determine the direction of your life. Rob Taylor
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13
He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is a folly and shame to him. (Prov.18:13).