The look of surprise on the faces of the audience let me know I just hit a raw nerve. The topic? IDOLS. Perhaps, you share their shock. But please stay with me here.
Myths surrounding idols
Idols are antiques
Idols went the way of the dinosaur
Idols vanished with ancient civilizations
Idols - like Aaron’s problem in the Sinai Desert - blew away with the sands of time
Idols were for Paul to talk about in Athens, but not for modern society
Idols are a taboo topic
Idols present no problem for today’s Christ follower
Verdict: these myths are incorrect.
Description of an idol
An idol is anything that consumes us, and takes God's place. No other person, place, thing (or thought) should usurp God’s Rightful Premier Place in my heart and life. Herein lies the scary part; an idol can be so subtle. My conclusion:
A good-thing becomes a bad-thing when a good-thing becomes a god-thing.
Inventory of potential 21st century idols
A: Person, Project, Pastime, Plan, Pet, Possession, Profession, Position, Worry, Bank Account, Sports Team, Child, Celebrity, Career, Disappointment, Hobby, Habit, Job, To-do List, Ministry
An: Automobile, Obsession, Enemy
Further possibilities: Exercise, Iphone, Time, Facebook, Media, Leisure, Self-focus
When I sense a good-thing becoming a bad-thing by becoming a god-thing, a quick response is needed.
A Timeless Truth You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3) A A Current Reality Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. (Jonah 2:8) Seeking a quiet place alone with God, I open my heart to Him. I pray; I confess; I release. Then, I rejoice and turn my mind toward praise and worship of the Only One Who deserves to be worshipped. I move forward in blessed assurance of blessed forgiveness, and I move forward in the power and protection of the Holy Spirit.
Living with eternal intentionality: What idol would you add to this 21st century list?