The psalmist writes, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?” But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk; they cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.” (Psalm 115:1-8)

We know from these verses that an idol “has no real existence.” (1 Corinthians 8:4) They are things we make up, things we create, and strangely, things we worship.

What, however, is an idol these days? I mean, we don’t have statues or poles or golden calves. But what we do have sometimes are mis-placed affections and a mis-guided trust in people or things other than our God.

In thinking through the probability and place of idols in our lives, the best definition I’ve ever read is the one provided by pastor and author Tim Keller. He writes that “An idol is anything you will sin to get or to keep.” That can be a job, a relationship, a reputation, financial security, or any number of things unique to you and your situation. The issue isn’t so much the “what” but the “where.” Where does your desire for this “thing” find its place in your heart in relation to the place God finds? If you value it above loving and living for Him, then you find yourself worshiping an idol (as difficult to admit as that might be).

While this week’s passage helps us figure out how to live in the gray, perhaps two other important things it does are 1) call us to take a step back to consider whether or not there are things in our lives which would qualify as an idol, and 2) remind us that “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (1 Corinthians 8:6)

By God’s grace, may we keep our heart and its affections fixed on Him today!

Scott Smith
Connection and Growth Pastor

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