Idolatry Begins With “I”

by Lee Buford on March 31, 2010

Our small group had the opportunity this week to spend some quality time discussing our consistent failure to worship and glorify God in all that we do. Instead we exchange the glory of God for any number of things in our daily lives…we “idolize” everything and everyone but the ONE Who should be idolized.

I`dol´a`try
n. 1. The worship of idols, images, or anything which is not God; the worship of false gods.
2. Excessive attachment or veneration for anything; respect or love which borders on adoration.

Source:  Webster’s Dictionary

Our discussion centered on the text in Romans 1:18-24, and more specifically how we make this “exchange” in our personal lives due to our desire to glorify ourselves rather than God. Idols are not always easy to identify, but they always stand between us and God’s rightful place in our lives.

We came up with following list of ten areas of our lives in which we sinfully make this exchange:

  1. Money and financial matters
  2. Material possessions
  3. Relationships
  4. Vanity and self-appearance
  5. Power and prestige
  6. Politics and causes
  7. Emotions and health
  8. Hobbies
  9. Careers and jobs
  10. Heroes – Men/Women we admire

These are ten random responses we agreed upon, and there are many more that could be added to the list. Not all of us struggle in the same areas, but we all struggle. And we could unanimously agree that the source of each of these was our own desire to glorify and gratify the “I” in all of us…the “prideful” aspects of our depraved beings.

In mainstream circles pride is commonly recognized as a positive character trait that we all should exhibit. In fact there are millions of dollars spent each year on books, seminars, videos, and classes…all designed to teach and encourage you to be a “better you”, to feel good about yourself and proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished.

Biblically we know the opposite to be true. Pride only hinders our ability to properly worship God and love others. Pride is a force within our sinful nature that we must constantly seek refuge from…an area in which we must consistently seek God’s help through prayer.

There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians ever imagine that they are guilty themselves….The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil; Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind… As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you. 
                                                                                                                                                                   – C. S. Lewis

Take a personal inventory of the areas in your own life in which idolatry and pride are prohibiting you from properly worshipping and glorifying God.

What would you add to our list?

 

 

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