We all have them.
Sometimes they’re disguised by excuses such as, “I’m just trying to eat right,” “I just really need a better (i)Phone,” or even “I just can’t say no, it would be rude.”
But, in reality, they actually mean, “I don’t have value if I gain five pounds,” “I can’t live with myself if my friends have better cell phones than I do,” and “I need the approval of others to be happy.”
What am I talking about? I’m talking about idols. And I’m guilty of having them, too.
Why am I telling you that? Because of this: I believe part of being iron that sharpens iron, as Proverbs 27:17 tells us we should be as believers, is admitting our faults to one another, and that means confessing our sins and pointing out our idols.
So it’s my turn.
I’ve had an idol. Let me give you a hint: It’s often represented by a kelly green letter containing one (or sometimes two) vertical line(s).
And, for me, it hasn’t been an obvious idol. It’s not that I love money and want to be a millionaire who lives in a mansion and drives a Mercedes. Actually, this recent idol of mine has been covered up by great goals that sound like, “I just need to save ____ dollars each month so I can _____.” And, to be honest, those fill-in-the-blanks are filled with good goals for an almost-22-year-old with a college degree.
But there’s a but.
These big goals of mine stopped becoming just goals and started becoming idols when they reached the point of consuming my thoughts and causing me anxiety at every curveball that threatened their completion. The truth is that my desire to reach these goals had passed the point of being healthy and crossed over into idolatry.
So, naturally, when I recently read Jesus’s words from Matthew 6, I felt a gentle reminder from the Lord to not make idols, particularly of money, and not to worry about my needs. I want to share a few excerpts of what I read with you:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (v. 19-21)
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (v. 24)
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (v. 25-26)
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (v. 34)
So, my conclusion? Stop worrying. Trust God. And know that he will be faithful and provide for my every need, including the five-figure student loan that tries to intimidate me every now and then. God cares for the sparrows…and he cares for me.
What idol are you struggling with today?