Guest Author - Jenna Robinson
A word that brings to mind statues or false gods that were worshipped along time ago by people who didnít understand the world the way we do. But idolatry can be many things. For instance, the man who works 16 hours a day and weekends, can be using his stature at work as an idol. The people he works for see him as indispensable and he feels important there. He begins to believe that who he is inside is defined by who he is in the eyes of his co-workers and subordinates. He sees his accomplishments in the work place as his best contributions to the world.
Or the older woman who values her looks and youthfulness above all things. She seeks after the fountain of youth with a vengeance. She spends dollar after dollar on the pursuit of youth. She pays for clothes she never wears and surgery that she doesnít need. She looks into the eyes of her friends and family and searches for the acceptance that she doesnít feel inside.
Thereís the young woman who is so afraid to be wrong that she spends every waking moment in search of the evidence that she is the best, the smartest, and the most informed. She preys on the weaknesses of others to boost her self-esteem. She must know more than her family, her friends, and the doctors. If she is found to be lacking in one small area, then she is lacking in all. There is no room for error.
Finally, the young man who works hard for the money he makes. He doesnít want to share with his family and sees his paycheck as the compensation for his labor. He demands that the money be spent the way he wants and will even refuse to pay his bills if he feels that he would have to sacrifice his own selfish needs to pay them. His children suffer and his wife suffers from the selfish, indulgent nature that permeates the air around him. He doesnít have time for them. He chooses to indulge himself before indulging those he claims to love.
The underlying root of Idolatry is pride. The Bible says that Pride is sinful. The root of all these situations above is pride. Overcoming pride is hard. We are all guilty of this sin. The spirit of pridefulness can become a habit that is harder and more frightening to break than smoking. The man who works to fulfill his need for attention misses the boat when searching for the ďatta boysĒ he craves. If he could only open his eyes and realize that by submitting to the Lord, he would receive more than just a measly ďgood-job-ole-manĒ. He would receive the greatest gift ever; forgiveness of sins and ever-lasting life.
The older woman whose vanity keeps her from discovering the gifts God bestows on her with age far out weigh the fleeting good looks of youth. The grace and experience of life are far more attractive and useful to the Lord for using her life to draw others to Him. She misses out on the blessings of life because she is preoccupied with measuring up to the worlds standards. She wastes the wisdom of a life well lived and the chance to be a living sacrifice for the Lord.
The young woman who tries so hard to be the smartest and the best, misses the opportunity to let others brighten her life with the gifts God has given them. And the young man who selfishly hoards the money God has given him to live, misses out on the small blessings that giving to others brings. Both miss out on the celebration of Godís glory being revealed in their lives through other believers.
Idolatry can come in many forms. Itís one of the tools that Satan uses to wear us down and pull us away from fellowship with others. Jesus didnít just party with His brothers, He reached out and drew in new recruits. He recognized the fruit of the Spirit revealed in the life of another. He celebrated Godís work in the life of those around Him. Believers or not. When we take our eyes off of Him, we become blind people. We canít see in the darkness. Thatís why Edison invented the light bulb. There is spiritual darkness, too. Thatís why the Father sent the Son. Seek the light. Try it on for a week. See how it feels to submit to the Lord and reap where you have not sown.