I’m a Fool (and other fascinating facts)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about idols. Not the “graven images” or “golden calves” of the Old Testament but more like the things we hold most closely to ourselves.

A few weeks ago I wrote this post on the god of emotion, and it seemed to resonate with a lot of people, probably because we are all susceptible to allowing our emotions to control us.

But God doesn’t want anything to control us. Instead, he wants the Holy Spirit to guide our every decision.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans, noticed idolatry playing out right before him. Take a look at Romans 1:25 from the NIV:

“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator…”

In his commentary, Matthew Henry tells us that the Romans had “foolishly followed idolatry” and replaced the worship of the Father with the worship of “brutes, reptiles, and senseless images.”

Does this sound like our culture today? At first glance, the answer is a resounding NO. I don’t know many people who worship reptiles or savage beasts. But as I delve more into the “senseless images” of our culture, I see idolatry all around me. Even in my own home.

Let’s take media, for example. It’s nearing Christmas time so that means television commercials are ramping it up. They are advertising all sorts of ridiculous toys that apparently my little kids “need.” Things they’ve never even heard of suddenly become the latest must-have on their Christmas list.

“Mom, Santa needs to bring me this helicopter/doll/racetrack/pillow pet/_____________(fill in the blank)! Let’s put it on my list!”

The images before them are so enticing that they just have to have it.

Television advertisements may not be your idol of choice. Perhaps your idol is something else.

Recreation or pleasure.

Or your favorite sports team.

Maybe your idols are your children.

Or fashion.

Or your beautiful home.

Perhaps your idol is health and fitness.

Or maybe it’s food.

Friend, an idol is anything we place before the Lord

Some of the items listed above have been my idol at one time or another. But I often find myself choosing a different idol.

When I am bored, guess what I bow down to?

iphone

 

My iPhone.

(Does that hurt anybody else just a little?)

 

 

Anytime I have a free second, I pick it up to check my email, Facebook, calendar, recent podcasts, the weather, texts, or any number of other apps. I carry it with me everywhere I go. It’s gotten to the point that I can’t function without it and I always have a legitimate excuse for why I need it. (Please tell me I’m not alone.)

But the closer I get to Jesus, the more aware I become of this:

When I cling to my phone, I am filling up with foolishness and fluff instead of filling up with Him.

I want my children to be fascinated with Jesus, not with other things like media. But I have to ask myself a question:

Am I fascinated with Jesus in the same way I’m fascinated with my phone?

Do I spend more time with my Heavenly Father than I do looking at the latest app or checking in on social media?

The answer is, sadly, no.

In their book Growing Up Social, Gary Chapman and Arlene Pelican write this:

“If we as parents are totally consumed all our waking hours with electronic media of any kind, we are communicating, ‘This is what life is about. This is the norm…”

So I go back to my original question:

Am I fascinated with Jesus in the same way I’m fascinated with my phone?

If I want my kids to be fascinated with Jesus, I must first be fascinated with Him.

This week, I will be taking a look at how I view my phone and other idols in my life. I don’t want to serve these things. I want to serve Jesus.

What is your biggest “idol?” What are some practical ways you can remove that idol from the high places in your life and replace it with Jesus? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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