Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Idols (Part One)

Once there was a man who worked hard all his life and got very rich.

When he was about to die, he told his wife, "Bury me with all my money." At his funeral, the wife dutifully complied.

Later, the new widow and a friend got together for coffee. The friend said, "You didn't really bury him with all his money." The widow replied, "How could I deny his final wish? When his casket was closed for the final time, I made sure all his money was with him."

The friend was quiet. She couldn't believe it. And the widow added: "Yes, I buried him with all his money. And I did it by writing him a check."

Sometimes, people try to hang onto things that can't help them. For the living, that often takes the form of idols-- things that rob the rightful place of God.

In Old Testament days, idols were obvious to spot. They were figured statues carved out of stone or wood. In our day, idols are tougher to detect, yet they're plentiful in number-- power, fame, money, sex. And things more benign-- kids, gardens, cars, etc.

One reason idols can be hard to detect is they often are things that God has rightly given us to enjoy. For example, everyone needs food. And good food, delightfully prepared, is fun to eat. But if I continually gorge on food to make me feel better when life gets too stressful, food becomes an idol.

When I cease to rely on God for my happiness, security, and provision and replace God with something or someone that isn't intended to take God's rightful place in my life, I create an idol.

Lately, I've seen the need to examine myself and clean house.

What's dwelling in your house? Anything need cleaning out?

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