“…What I mean is that each of you says,’I follow Paul,’ or ‘I follow Apollos’, or ‘I follow Cephas’, or ‘I follow Christ’. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?…”
~1 Corinthians 1:12-13
We know that the Bible says that we are to have God first and not bow down to idols. But in the United States, it’s rare to see someone bowing down to an actual idol made of silver or gold. However, we still struggle with idol worship today–just in different ways.
Sometimes idols can be as simple as a good thing put in the wrong place. For example, it has been my goal for about a year to open my own little online shop selling my pictures on different products. I finally got the account set up and began to figure out the next steps. I would work on this project for hours each day. As time went on I began to feel cruddy, tired, grumpy and stressed. I thought that I was really stressed about getting everything set up. So, I kept plugging away thinking that when everything was done I would feel better.
Once I launched everything I still felt down and I couldn’t figure out why. Upon further investigation, I realized that in my desire to get everything set up and going I began to idolize the business and blog. These were both good things that can make an impact for the kingdom of God. However, put in the wrong place they can wreak havoc on my relationship with Jesus.
We can also idolize other people, T.V. shows, music, or anything else that we put above God. The good thing is that when we mess up and put God on the back burner for a season He always welcomes us back home with open arms and love and grace.
Don’t believe me? The book of Exodus records the Jews’ journey from Egypt into the land that God had promised them. In chapter 32 while Moses was up on the mountain the people got impatient waiting for him to return. At Aaron’s suggestion, they gave him their gold jewelry and he made them a golden calf. Aaron told them that this golden calf had been the god that had led them out of Egypt. Even though the people messed up and disobeyed God (and they had to pay the consequences for their sin); God still loved them and led them to the land that He promised to give them.
So, next time you mess up; don’t beat yourself up. Realize that you messed up, ask God for forgiveness, learn from your mistake, and rest in His great grace.
Until next time,