Suggested Bible Reading: Matthew 6:19-34
Question: Do people commit idolatry today?
Answer: An idol is anything that means more to us than God. It is anything we devote more time, effort and concern to than God. For example, today’s Scripture reading speaks of materialism. We can become so concerned about making money and buying the “latest and greatest” things, that we live more for the things we can buy than for God who is of infinite value. This is one of the idols “worshiped” by our culture today.
Steve spends hours on his car – fixing, cleaning and polishing. Most of the money he makes at his part-time job goes into his car. He’s purchased expensive wheels, put on several chrome parts, installed a neat steering wheel; and this is just the start to his plans. He thinks about, talks about and spends most of his free time working on and cleaning his car.
Sandra spends most of her free time shopping. She spends almost all the money she makes on clothes. Her thoughts, concerns and worries center on how she looks. She thinks that she doesn’t look good unless she has something new to wear that perfectly fits each special event that she goes to.
Mr. Davis works day and night at his job. I need to do this to be promoted, he thinks. I’ll spend more time with God, my wife and two children later. Right now I need to work to secure higher positions and more income.
To own a car and take good care of it is not a sin in itself. It is not wrong in itself to maintain a clean and attractive appearance. To work hard and be interested in a promotion is not a transgression in itself. But when legitimate things in a person’s life become more important than God and a person becomes more concerned and more focused upon something else instead of God, then it becomes sin. This is idolatry.
Are there any idols in your life that need to be removed? If so, how will you accomplish this? Why will both prayer and work be required?