Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 24, 2012 2 comments

What do you think of when you hear the word “idol”? Do you think of a little statue in somebody’s house that they bow down and worship? Do you think of the next great pop singing sensation in America?

The word “idol” is from the Greek eidolon (pronounced I-doh-lan), and it literally means a false god or some sort of representation of one that may be worshiped. The word “idolatry” is from a similar Greek word (eidololatreia) which means worship of an image. Literally, idolatry is worshiping some sort of thing or object as if it were God. This is explicitly prohibited by God in the Ten Commandments, specifically in Exodus 20:4-5.

I would guess that most (if not all) of us don’t do this. I don’t have any particular thing that I worship and bow down to, do you? But it’s the definitions that we see in the New Testament that probably makes us cringe. Ephesians 5:5 says, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Similarly, Colossians 3:5 says, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” The context of both of these passages is how we are to live like Christ, and both tells us specific things we should not do if we are to imitate Him.

Idolatry doesn’t just mean worshiping a particular image, but it’s also anything that we are greedy about. Do you want more money? That’s idolatry. Do you hoard things for yourself rather than helping those less fortunate? That’s idolatry. Are you obsessed over anything that is not God Himself? That’s idolatry. The danger we face is that any obsessive concern can become idolatry, even things that we may typically see as good. If a person is obsessed about feeding the hungry for the sake of doing it and not out of his or her love for God, that’s idolatry. Anything that you put more worth in than God is an idol in your life.

What kind of idols do you have in your life? I challenge you to take a serious look at your life and what you place before God. But be warned; what you find may truly convict you. Pray about what small steps you can take to remove those idols from your life and put God in the place of top priority where He deserves to be. 


Unknown said...

Vikings football will sometimes ruin my day if they lose. Movies, and videogames have taken much more of my time than seeking God. I have tried to reduce my passion for these things and increase my desire for God, but I find it difficult...

Katie said...

It is very difficult, Scott. We're all humans and it's our natural tendency to put the stuff of this world before seeking God. I am very guilty of this too. The only "solution" is to continually try to seek God and make time for Him in our busy lives.