“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” -Exodus 20:4-6
In the ancient world, idolatry and pagan worship was a real problem, even for God’s people. However, we still struggle with idolatry today. And yes, it still degrades the soul. Have you ever felt degraded because of our society’s idolatry? You may have felt like you weren’t good enough because you weren’t wearing the latest designer clothing, your car wasn’t shiny enough, or you haven’t achieved the same status at your classmates or coworkers. You may have felt less human and less valued. As you were constantly trying to prove yourself, you became so thin of soul that you were completely exhausted. Maybe you neglected the true things that mattered in your life. The idolatry of our world has degraded a lot of us. But not you. Not you. You know you are not what you have. You know you are who has you. You trust in God. He is your first treasure. Though many of you have wealth and you’ve succeeded, you don’t need those things. All you need is God. You need him with all your heart and you trust in him. We cannot save ourselves without the help of our loving Father. When God is first in a society and idols are not, people are valued. Not when religion is valued, but when God is first. Religion can become an idol. We should be people of the bible, but even the bible can become an idol. God must be first. When God is first in a society, his people follow the second commandment of Jesus’ great commandments, which is to love one another. When we experience God’s grace, forgiveness, and mercy, we give it to others.
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for all that you have given me. But you are the most important. Please help me to always remember that. All I need is you. Amen.
REFLECTION: Think about what you may idolize in your life. Become aware of this, and focus your thoughts on God instead. Try reminding yourself of this throughout the day.