No, I'm not talking about the American singing kind. ; )
5 6 7
A couple of years ago, I was having a conversation with a mother of (now seven children) that I respect very much. She had subtly mentioned that her sons were taking a break from playing video games for an extended period. I, of course, was curious and asked why.
Her response was revolutionary. "Because they have made them an idol. They love them too much." Wow, such a down to earth and practical application as in regards to the charge to as Christians. One of the Ten Commandments.
You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3
Idols aren't just limited to the graven images and "sacred golden calves" spoken about in Bible times (and sometimes practiced in present day). They are things in our everyday lives that tend to rule us, rather than allowing our hearts to be focused on God and His great love for us.
Things are nice to have....they can make life fun, entertaining, interesting and even help us to be more efficient and/or productive, at times. Think about things like food, toys, money, social media, fashion, fame and so on. None of those things are really EVIL in themselves. It's when we love them TOO much and make them the central focus of our lives that they cause problems. Yes, even video games.
Think about it. Loving food too much =gluttony and health problems. Loving money too much = greed and selfishness. Loving toys too much = arguments and greed. Loving fame/popularity too much = a "me centered" attitude. Loving social media too much = wasted time and a possible "Nosey Nelly" and gossip problem. You fill in the blanks. The list goes on and on.
It kind of reminds me of this passage in Scripture.
God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Psalm 115:3-7
5 6 7
My life desire is to love God above all else. I want the same for our children. I also want them to value people way more than they value things. Am I providing a good example for them in this area? Have I constructed idols in my own life? What are they?
A few ways to check your (my) heart in this area:
- Take a look at your checkbook or credit card statement. Where does the majority of your money go?
- Monitor your time. Where is it given? Who/what gets priority?
- What rules your thought life?
I hope that even at a young age, we can teach our children to gauge their hearts on this matter.