Sometimes too much of a good thing can be an idol.
What is an idol? What is idolatry?
Some definitions of an idol:
- Blind or excessive devotion to something.
- Great devotion or reverence.
- Immoderate attachment to something.
- Anything that replaces God.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity,passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. Colossians 3:5-6
Are we troubled because of the idolatry of our culture?
Idolatry is when we worship at an altar of the god of self.
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:25
I have been guilty of idolatry. I pray all our eyes are opened.
We worship our self.
We buy the newest fads in clothing, makeup, hair care. We work out and track our steps on a FitBit, linked to our iPhones and social media (otherwise it doesn’t count, right, if the world doesn’t see how good we are?), diet, track calories on apps on our smart phones, nip, tuck, shimmy into Spanx and skinny jeans.
I’m almost 40 and I do not want to look 15.
Then there is the other side of the coin that makes Stacy from What Not to Wear cringe.
Some people seem to care nothing at all about how they are perceived.
I’m not judging. I understand that stage: sleepless newborns and cranky toddlers with nothing that fits that post-pregnancy body and no time or money for anything new. But my mama always told me to look my best, even when going out to the grocery store. It’s ingrained in me to put real clothes on and brush my hair and put on some lip gloss. I just wouldn’t be caught dead without it.
We are bombarded with information about how we must take care of ourselves. Because moms need to be reminded. Everyone else comes first. We are told we are selfish for being selfless.
We worship our spouse.
Of course it is a good thing to love our spouse. But it is problematic when we hinge our very existence on a relationship with someone of the opposite sex.
Modern culture is permeated with worship of love, sex, the conquest of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Songs and movies perpetuate this idolatry. When we ignore the seemingly innocent pop song lyrics of music artists like Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Hozier, we’re teaching that casual relationships and casual sex is the norm, the expectation.
When we encourage our kids to find their worth in a significant other, we invite a foothold for the devil to teach our children that their very existence hinges on whether or not they have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Even Christians use spiritual ideas like the purity movement and courtship to teach the idolatry of marriage.
What about the poor, poor boys and girls who sit at home and pine for a spouse who never shows up? Are they less-than because they are still single when others think they should marry?
We worship our children.
Of course we’re supposed to love our children.
But do they rule over us? I’ve been to some homes where the children were in power, all but sitting on little thrones, lording over their parents who gave in to their every whim. That’s just not healthy.
Will we forever known as “Jane and John’s mom”? I hardly have an identity apart from being a mom. I am often introduced to others by and through my children. It used to bother me, but now I shrug it off. It makes me proud to be the cool mom whom my children want their friends and coaches to meet.
Do we spend all our time planning and executing the ultimate childhood with crafts, activities, educational games, events, field trips, vacations, educational courses, etc.?
Let kids be kids. Let them rest and experience free play and not have every moment of their lives scheduled. Let them fail and fall and skin their knees and get dirty.
We worship our pets.
We have two cats. We love them. I get it. Pets are like babies. We must care for out pets and be good stewards. Pets bring us great enjoyment and reduce stress.
But I know people who spend more money on their pets than I spend on my children! It makes me want to be their pet.
There should be balance. Animal lives are not equal to human lives.
We worship our church/denomination/pastor/ministry.
Should it be a competition about whose church is better?
Some denominations claim they’re the only ones getting into heaven.
Too many churches compromise biblical beliefs for membership numbers. They would rather be a little worldly than offend anyone.
Some pastors are worshiped as celebrities and have the houses, cars, toys, etc. that prove their elite status.
Are you a ministry leader who is exhausted, but must keep going because it could all fall apart if you’re not there to make sure it runs smoothly? I’ve been there. I’m a control freak. I had to take a break from serving to reconnect with my family.
We worship celebrity.
We rush to view reality TV shows and vote online for singing contestants who might have a bit of talent and the right look.
Hollywood and Disney offer a sweet, happy-ever-after that is so appealing. We all want a happy ending with no work involved. When this fantasy is taught as a potential reality, it becomes a problem. I want my children to realize they have to work and happiness is never a promise nor a guarantee.
Too many of the famous people in our media lately aren’t actually famous…they’re infamous. They’re cited as heroes for sexual antics, gender issues, drug and alcohol problems, relationship fails.
Then there’s the Christian celebrity.
They take the stage to the applause of men and women.
We read and watch false prophets with their self-help books and seminars, disguised as Christian guides. They promise get-rich-quick schemes, instant-weight-loss, shortcuts to eternal life that twist and warp biblical teachings. They market pretty packages to the ignorant and blind. They offer emotion and excitement with their charismatic messages. We flock to conventions and conferences and special services featuring “teachers” to hear a “better” way: scripture taken out of context to show us an easy path to greatness during this life. We watch for their sleight of hand and can’t even notice the bait-and-switch when they lie: you can read between the lines of the Bible and find Truth…elsewhere, apart from Jesus. They come up with cute catchphrases as a mantra they teach their followers to breathe and meditate in prayer. They practice and teach mysticism, pragmatism, moralism, rationalism, prosperity…and call it the real path to salvation. They’re so slick we don’t even realize they’re false.
What about Network Marketing leaders?
They’re salespeople, first and foremost. They’re the stars at the conventions. They may pray on stage to make the Christians comfortable. They may quote some mystics to make the New Agers comfortable. They cite some science to appease the intellectuals. They preach success with their tried and true formula. They sell books, CDs, DVDs, seminars, webinars…all promising you the same success!
And then there are bloggers.
They were in the right place at the right time and went viral online with an old idea packaged Pinterest pretty.
They were just moms and wives last week.
This week, they’re businesspeople. They’re professionals.
They’re adored at conferences. They have fans and groupies. They’re hiring staff to homeschool their kids, clean their house, manage their ads, track their appointments, appearances, book signings, and speaking engagements. I’m so happy for them.
And they forget who put them there on the blogosphere. The readers, the followers…the other bloggers who supported and shared posts and prayed.
Who are now left wondering why we’re no longer friends.
We worship prosperity.
In Sunday school, we were asked to share our dreams. Most of us mentioned success for our children. One man got to the point and said: happiness.
All of the dreams really boiled down to prosperity. We want money to be happy.
We join MLMs to get rich quick with a great product and bug all our friends with our life-changing products.
We adore debt-free teachers and prosperity preachers alike. It’s the great dichotomy. We worship money. We are controlled by money.
We worship work(s).
Whether our work is blogging, mothering, housework, volunteering, or something else outside the home…
How much time do you take away from your relationship with God by sitting at the computer or attending conferences? Do you stress over the analytics and numbers of followers and affiliate programs?
Do you mark off your spiritual checklist by volunteering for a good cause? Do you feel better about your spiritual life for keeping your house organized and spotless?
I worried too long about the tidiness of my home and couldn’t pull myself together after the birth of our third child. I had to realize that I couldn’t do it all.
Idolatry is sneaky.
It often starts out as a good thing, a right thing. We’re supposed to love this and respect that.
When it replaces or outshines our love and respect for God, then it’s sinful. It’s idolatry.
Linking up: Modest Mom, ABC Creative Learning, A Life in Balance, Growing Hands on Kids, Rich Faith Rising, Life of Faith, Time Warp Wife, 3GLOL, Cornerstone Confessions, Moms Morning Coffee, Adventures of Mel, True Aim Education, The Natural Homeschool, Hip Homeschool Moms, Graced Simplicity, Imparting Grace, Raising Homemakers, The Deliberate Mom, Frog’s Lilypad, Milk and Cuddles, Wondermom Wannabe, Christian Mommy Blogger, Blessed Learners, Happy and Blessed Home,