“Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” (1 Cor. 10:14 NIV)
Idols rule you.
The definition of idol is an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed. The biblical definition is an image of a deity other than God, the deity itself. Things we idolize in America: jobs, cars, relationships, sports, religion. The list is truly endless. Pets, homes, vacations, alcohol…anything you worship is an idol.
From a Christ follower’s perspective, anything that gets in the way of your relationship with God is an idol. My tennis racquet was a recent idol God asked me to give up. As a tennis player, I had 2 racquets, one a backup in case I broke a string. Racquets are very personal. Everyone likes something different. When I find ones I like, I stick with them for as long as I can. The two I have now are my all time favorites for various reasons. Teaching a tennis camp a couple weeks ago, I had a prompting to give one to a student who didn’t have a racquet. My instant response was “No way, not my racquets.” I realized in that moment, my racquets were idols. I gave the racquet away.
You can rule idols.
Years ago, I did Dave Ramsey’s money management course. Great course, taught me how to handle finances Biblically. One of the areas addressed is tithing, giving 10% back to God. Tithing isn’t about money, tithing is about faith. Do you have faith God will do more with the 90% in your life than you will do with the 100%? Money is an idol we all battle. The love of money is the root of evil:
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10 NIV)
Tithing breaks the love of money. The best way to “offend” money is to give it away. The lure of money is seductive. So many different ways money affects people. We all need it to live. Money can easily consume our thoughts. But when you give it away to God, you’re putting money in its place.
Yes, money is important. Yes, you need money to live. But without God you wouldn’t have life, nor money. God first, money second.
Demolish idols by putting them in their place:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 NIV)
God helps you put idols in their place when you give them to Him. Maybe the answer is giving it away, maybe not. But when you submit it to Him, you gain control. The idol is no longer an idol.
Question of the Day:
What idol do you need to talk to God about today?