What’s your favorite____________?
Fill in the blank with any number of things: hobby, team, vacation spot, movie, book, food, color, etc. etc. etc. If you ask this question often enough… about enough things… eventually a pattern will emerge. For example, I am a surfer and that is my favorite thing to do. Some of my other favorites are: vacationing at the beaches of Rhode Island, watching the movie Endless Summer, reading Surfer Magazine, etc. etc. etc. Can anyone see a pattern? 🙂
The truth is that our time and energy and money and love are going somewhere. If you can track where… then you can find out what you are really valuing in life. When you can point to what you are really valuing in life… you can assess how healthy that is, or what might need to change.
A recurring theme throughout all of the Scriptures is that of the ‘idol’. An idol was a statue of a god or goddess that people would cherish and value. The only problem was… the idols were JUST statues… not gods or goddesses… they weren’t doing anyone ANY good! To cherish and value the one true God people did not need to find idols… but focus their time and attention on God God’s self. When they did so… all areas of their lives flourished.
The subject of idols comes up in Acts 17 (verses 16 & 17):
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.
As ‘works in progress’ we can shift our attention away from ‘idols’ in our lives… those things we cherish and value that aren’t doing us any good… and focus on getting in tune with God and, in the process, with our highest calling and purpose.
This doesn’t mean we have to give up surfing, or our favorite team, or even our pleasures or comforts… but it does mean we need to keep our idols in their place… second place (at best)behind loving God and making a positive difference in the world.