What we value most deeply

For a long time I kind of skipped over those parts in the Bible about “idolatry.” Those old stories about misguided people bowing down to golden calves just seemed so irrelevant.

‘Here in 2017,’ I thought, ‘not many of us are bowing down to that stuff anymore.’

Or are we?

An idol can be anything you love more than God. Think about that for a moment.

Your wardrobe can be an idol.
Your body can be an idol.
Your career can be an idol.
Your bank account can be an idol.
Your “likes” can be an idol.
Your reputation can be an idol.
Your friends can be an idol.
Your home can be an idol.
Your family can be an idol.

We may not bow down visibly… but invisibly?

Maybe it’s tempting to disproportionately devote ourselves to these things because we think our lives will somehow be better. But loving things or people more than God actually brings us harm.

It skews how life is supposed to be. It distorts all it can be.

The reason God keeps warning our wayward selves about idolatry is because he wants the best for us. And a Father grieves when his sons and daughters keeps inflicting themselves with pain.

Think of idolatry like addiction… to wardrobes or bodies or careers or bank accounts or “likes” or reputations or friends or homes or families. None of these things are bad. In fact, they can be very good! But just not when they start to pull your eyes away from God and your daily journey away from the way of Jesus.

With that in mind, 1 Corinthians 10:14 is wildly current: “flee from idolatry”!

Today, enjoy the good things in life. And take a moment to honestly ask yourself, “Is God the source of my hope, or is it something else?

As John Ortberg observes, “We will always take the most care of that which we value most deeply.”

By Matthew Ruttan


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