21st Century Idols and How to Avoid Them

ID-10044033Last week I asked for your input and help to define 21st Century idols. A huge thank you to those of you who shared your thoughts.

Let’s start by defining the word idol:

1. An image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.
2. Any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.

God gave these words to Moses:

You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. Exodus 20:3-4

Paul wrote the following to the followers of The Way in Ephesus:

You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God. Ephesians 5:5

I don’t believe much has changed since the Old and New Testaments were written.

Why?

Because “self” is the ultimate object and source of idol worship.

“What’s in it for me?” Who or what will give me the most . . . happiness? satisfaction? pleasure? success? etc.

Here are some of the things you shared as potential 21st Century Idols:

  • Fame
  • Fortune
  • Success
  • Power
  • Youth
  • Beauty
  • Recreation
  • Popularity
  • Food
  • Money
  • Comfort
  • Blogging and Social Media
  • Electronic Entertainment
  • Anything that takes our focus off God

I found these potential idols on-line:

  • Pleasure
  • Leisure
  • Entertainment
  • People
  • Personal Happiness
  • Anything coveted or placed ahead of God

I have to admit . . . I struggle with several thing on these lists. I know The Commandments. I know they begin with, “You must not have any other god but me.

But I still put myself first way too often. I struggle with a desire to be popular, to look 10-20 years younger, to have everyone’s approval, to control my time selfishly, and to have those things I believe will make me happy.

How about you?

There is only one way to avoid worshipping idols.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Mark 12:30

Loving God with all we are means making Him, and only Him, the center of our lives. It means living to obey, worship, trust, honor, and glorify Him. Loving God means loving and serving people so that we might show them how much He loves them.

Nothing for personal glory. Everything for His glory.

Our struggle with selfishness will be with us until we die, but by God’s grace and with His help we don’t need to give in to the temptation of 21st Century Idols.

Please join me tomorrow when we’ll look at 21st Century Idols and the Church.

Photo Credit

7 comments

  1. Barb Raveling
    Twitter:
    says:

    Love the picture you put with this post, Deb. And love what you said here: Loving God with all we are means making Him, and only Him, the center of our lives. It means living to obey, worship, trust, honor, and glorify Him. Loving God means loving and serving people so that we might show them how much He loves them.
    Nothing for personal glory. Everything for His glory.

    It’s a constant struggle to make life about Him, isn’t it? The great thing is that we get to do that in fellowship with Him.

    • Deb
      Twitter:
      says:

      The more I researched and thought about this subject, I began to realize that the problem has always been the same . . . wanting to get and do things our own way. Following a “god” of our making who we can manipulate and mold into satisfying us instead of loving and obeying the great “I Am” will always be a problem for sinful people like us. It’s impossible to fight selfishness without God’s help, but with His help everything’s possible.

  2. Loren Pinilis says:

    The saying goes that our hearts are idol factories. Ultimately, I think it boils down to thinking that something else will give us pleasure instead of God – be that status, money, etc.

    • Deb
      Twitter:
      says:

      I’ve never heard that saying before Loren. It’s so true! As I looked at idolatry this week I came to the conclusion that it’s all about self. We want to declare ourselves king or queen and orchestrate our little kingdoms to revolve around us, shouting that we deserve happiness not realizing it’s impossible to be happy when we are self-focused. I believe that any time we are able to turn around, see things God’s way, and live for Him is pure grace. Praying everyday for more of Him and less of me.

  3. Charmaine Bright says:

    So, we understand that loving one another is part of what it means to love the Lord and to abide in Him. But, that brings up another question. What does it mean to love one another? The Lord does not leave us guessing on this point. He provides us in His word some specific teaching about what it means to love one another.

    • Deb
      Twitter:
      says:

      You’re right Charmaine! He does make it clear. Jesus set the perfect example for us. Now We just need to keep listening to and following Him. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and share your thoughts. Blessings to you!

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