-“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,…- Exodus 20:3-5
We all have idols and for those of us who are Christians we are in no way exempt from this. I have often joked that I am perfect and while I may be close (is that thunder I hear? LOL!), I'm not quite there yet and won’t be until I get to heaven. I have my own idols that I struggle with. One of my biggest idols is sex in the sense that I often want to worship the creation rather than the creator. We live in a culture that encourages us to have idols; however they are usually referred to influences. How we idolize athletes and politicians are perfect examples. So by now you are probably asking what this has to do with worship. We all worship something or someone. The problem is that if we don't worship God or even if we just put things above him we are committing the sin of idolatry.
This topic has been on my mind lately particularly in the wake of the Penn State football scandal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Penn_State_child_sex_abuse_scandal). For decades Joe Paterno was held in the highest of regard and for good reason if you ask me. He always made the education of his players top priority. He motivated in a passionate and loving way and he always emphasized the team, most famously by not allowing the players to have their name on their jersey. Then the scandal broke and all of a sudden he was demonized for, in many people’s eyes, not doing enough. The many people who had quite a fondness for Joe Paterno finally started to think… “What? You mean Paterno isn’t perfect? That can’t be true! Well if he isn’t then who is?”
For those of us who are Christians, we know that the answer to that question is Jesus Christ and we need to make sure our worship is directed towards God. And when I say God I don’t mean the church building, those who preach or write about Him, or the music we use to worship Him with song. Jesus is the ultimate object of our worship and while the things I mentioned are all a part of our worship to Him, we have to be careful not to idolize those things, because when we do then they become more important than Jesus himself. Worthiness is a crucial part of worship and there is no one more worthy of our worship than Jesus.
A question for you to ponder is…Who are your idols and what can you do to take your focus off of them?