“You shall have no other gods before me” – Exodus 20:3
Idolatry is not something we like to talk about…because we don’t struggle with it, right? And yet, as I scroll through my social media feeds I realize that we (myself included) are sorely confused. We assume because we don’t have this honking carved stone statues that we, in the American church, do not have idols. So let us define (not myself – the dictionary) what an idol is.
Idol as defined by merriam-webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idol) is listed as a picture or object that is worshipped as a god, an object of extreme devotion
An object worshipped as a god, and object of extreme devotion. Man – this bites me to the core. Because the reality as I scroll through the newsfeed is we have successfully created a place to throw up our idols for all to see.
Don’t eat this! Boycott this! Politics is everything this! Our hearts ring about all the chemicals we don’t want in our food. Our hearts ring with all the organizations which are evil or the politicians which are evil!
Others misguide us – things which we take and distort. I do it. I post pictures of every vacation and fun time because I want others to think I have a really good life and to be appreciated and valued by their comments and likes. Instead of disconnecting and allowing being away and with my God as enough.
And this is the culture we see perpetuated in our homes. My students see far more often a post I put up of my puppy or my event than a post calling them to surrender all they are to Jesus. Lord, forgive me. Forgive us.
If we truly want our children – our students – to follow Jesus, we must identify the idols in our lives. When it matters more that they don’t put chemicals in their body than that they have a heart so on fire that they would die for Jesus – we have lost understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
To be sure – it is not wrong to care about what goes in to our bodies. We are called to be good stewards. But when food, politics, a million-plus sports, each and every drama practice trumps a life devoted to Jesus then we are off. I’m not blogging because I want students to show up at church – I am blogging because I wanted students to be wholly devoted to Christ as Lord and Savior. It starts at home – on social media, from the voices in their life. Parents, youth workers, older siblings, relatives. Let us first set Christ as highest in our life – let it echo not just in a class on Sunday morning but in our everyday text, phone calls, social media posts, and dinner table conversations.