By Mike Chaffin
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. 1 John 5:21
John’s last words are direct and to the point. Easy to understand, right? For the readers of his day idolatry was a direct threat, a sin common to the Romans and Greeks. Many people today may not think this sin still exists. However, idolatry, though different than in the past, is still a problem today.
John wrote to the churches in Asia Minor. While many of these Christians were Jews who had fled Jerusalem, a large part of his audience are converted Romans and Greeks who had come out of an idolatrous upbringing and still lived in an idolatrous society. Temples to many of the roman and greek gods abounded throughout the region.
In fact, Idolatry is such a problem in human history the first two of the Ten Commandments deal with it. The first commandment; You shall have no other gods before me, and the second commandment; You shall make no idols, make John’s last words even more important to us today.
Idols come at us from all directions. Anything we put before God is an idol. If our jobs are more important than God’s call, then it is an idol. If we elevate sports so it hampers our worship, we have a problem with idolatry. Worshipping angels, or statues of Mary or another saint, is idolatry.
Our main desire in life should be to honor God and serve Him. If we keep this priority number one, we are well on our way to an idol free life.
Prayer: Lord expose any idols in my life. Help me clearly see anything I have elevated so much it keeps me from whole devotion to You. I want to remove it or reduce its effect from my life. Forgive me of any sin of idolatry in me. In Jesus’s name, amen.