Rodney was a rising star in Little League baseball, but an unusual sermon changed his focus. Teammates and coaches loved it when Rodney played on their team. He was a star hitter and a more than fair pitcher. But baseball wasn’t Rodney’s idol. He was overly concerned with his appearance and he’d been on a health kick for some time. His diet consisted of nutritious food instead of the junk pre-teens normally consume. And his exercise program was rigorous. Then one Sunday while listening to his uncle preach about stagnant churches, Rodney’s focus changed. Somewhere in the sermon, he heard something his uncle wasn’t even addressing. When his uncle mentioned that possessions had become a rich young man’s idol, the truth hit home for Rodney. Only for him it was exercise. The rich young man Jesus encountered had priority issues. His possessions weren’t evil; they simply occupied the wrong place. Unlike Rodney, he wasn’t willing to re-prioritize. When Jesus told him to sell his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth (Mark 10:22).
Idols can easily creep into our lives without us realizing the item, attitude or relationship is becoming one. Exercise is good; so is eating healthy. And possessions aren’t inherently evil. Many idols are just things or people misplaced on our scale of importance. Sinful idols need elimination, and God provides us strength to lose them. Innocent idols that have become sinful simply need to be placed in a different order. Anything displacing God or stealing our focus from our relationship with him is an idol. What idols does God need to help you lose?
Prayer: Father, we cast away all idols that keep us from being all You desire us to be.
About the Author: Martin Wiles is a “preacher’s kid,” author and speaker who understands the struggles believers face. He can be followed on Love Lines From God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com) and Morning Lite Ministry (www.morningliteministry.com). Dr. Wiles has been published in The Secret Place and Light From The Word, is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, and is a lead writer for WOW blog. He is also a regular columnist for the Common Ground Herald and Eagle Record newspapers. Wiles has authored Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity, Grace Greater Than Sin and Authentic Christianity. He and his wife Michelle reside in Hodges, South Carolina.