by Ella Corey
Last week I fasted from food and technology for 24 hours. This was an assignment for a Bible class to see what we were dependent on, and what things we idolized. “Fasting is the mirror that reveals the dependencies, addictions, and worldly attachments that have become part of us,” says Dr. Joanne Jung, my professor, in her book Knowing Grace. I learned that this was most certainly the case. During my downtime I always reach for my phone, Netflix or a snack, rather than talking to God. This assignment served as a serious reminder of how easy it is to get distracted by earthly attachments.
According to a recent article in Christianity Today, idolatry is the most common sin we are told to avoid. You may think this does not apply to you. I’m sure most of you do not have a gold calf in your room, or say your prayers to a celebrity every night. While in theory it seems irrational to worship anything besides the Living God, we do it every day. “Everything that is not of God raises itself up against God,” says Ed Stetzer, “even in the life of a Christian. So we constantly have idol pop-ups in our lives. We have to cast them down, but they will always be there as long as we live here on earth.”
How we act reflects where our heart is. Therefore, if we are pursuing things of the earth before God, then we believe these things are above God and we idol them. This means if you are not content with the way you look without makeup on, you could be idolizing your self-image, rather than believing that God made you perfectly. If you pursue a position of leadership in order to make yourself look better instead of giving all glory to God, you could be idolizing power or control. If you are aiming for success in a career in order to make more money and gain material goods, you could be idolizing wealth. If you are spending more time and energy trying to get your significant other to like you, rather than listening to how God wants you to be, you could be idolizing your relationship. I am not at all saying that makeup, success, money and relationships are bad. They only get dangerous when we put them before our relationship with Christ. I am a strong believer that when God said, “You shall have no other gods before me,” he meant it.
Famous spoken word artist, Jefferson Bethke, released a video on YouTube a few years ago titled “Counterfeit Gods”.
This month I will be reflecting on having an active faith. Active faith starts here: with the decision to put down your idols and pursue God above all else. Once your heart is here, actions will follow. In Jeremiah 11:22 it is written, “Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble.” Remember your savior, and put him above all else.