Have you ever noticed the affect culture and trends have on our lives? Think about it. Doesn’t almost every person you know own an iPhone or smart phone of some sort? Things like movies, sports, clothing, and music have great influence over people. But do you ever wonder why we’re so heavily influenced by the culture around us? Well, it’s simple — whatever we’re consumed with, we’re going to reflect in our lives. In other words, we become what we worship.
If you look up synonyms for worship in your thesaurus, you come across words like revere, adoration and idolize. I want to spend a little time focusing on that last word idolize. When God gave the children of Israel the Ten Commandments, He started out the list by saying: “You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.”
The fact is, in this day and age, everything around us is constantly clamoring for our undivided attention. The world is begging for our adoration. It’s harder than ever to focus on the spiritual with all the distractions offered every moment of every day. But all those distractions are rooted in idolatry and self when they get us to take our eyes off of our heavenly Father and His great plan for our lives.
We must ask ourselves these questions: “How much time do I spend flipping through magazines or googling the latest celebrity gossip? How important is it that I fit in, look the part or am successful? Do I measure my success based on the opinions of other people?” Now lets ask ourselves this: “How much time do I spend reading the Word of God and allowing Him to speak to me? Do I respond to the things around me by first seeking God’s wisdom?” Our aim should be to approach earthly things with a heavenly mindset. But as we all know, this can be very difficult.
So how do we guard ourselves from creating idols? I think Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) says it best: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” So, before anything else, seek first the Lord!
Michael Meredith Center Hill church of Christ Paragould, AR