Modern idols?

When we hear the word “idolatry,” many of us think of ancient peoples bowing down to man-made statues. In Exodus 20:3 God says, “You shall have no other gods before me.”

No other gods? Check. No problem there!

But our understanding of idolatry might be too narrow. Here’s how I define modern idolatry. It’s giving first place priority to something or someone who isn’t God.

With that definition in mind, your home can be an idol, your income can be an idol, your worldly “success” can be an idol, your family can be an idol, your number of “likes” can be an idol, and your body can even be an idol.

So on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, I’m going to help you think through what your invisible idols might be, if any. And I’m going to do it with three questions which are inspired by Tim Keller in his book Counterfeit Gods. Here’s the first:

What do you habitually think about to get joy and comfort in the privacy of your heart?

The things you habitually think about to get joy and comfort might be good things. But if we’re focusing on attaining those things to the point where we’re neglecting our relationship with God, they may have the potential to become a modern idol which harms and distracts us from God’s bigger purposes for our lives.

Idolatry is giving first place priority to something or someone who isn’t God.

So as you work through what your own invisible idols might be, ask yourself this: What do you habitually think about to get joy and comfort in the privacy of your heart?

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Today’s “Up!” is based on my Sunday podcast/sermon called “Christian Idolaters?” If you’re interested in learning more, you can listen in here.
  • Bible quotes are from the New International Version.

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