Friday, May 22, 2009


I am becoming more convinced that the sins that plague me most are not the ones that are most observable. No, they are the ones that are hidden from view, but not from God. Particularly, I refer to idolatry.

It is not by accident that 1st of the 10 commandments begins with this prohibition: You shall make no other gods, no image or likeness of God (Ex. 20: 3-4). We are normally conditioned to think of idolatry as making images or statues of pagan deities and bowing and burning sacrifice to them. But heart idolatry is much more subtle.

American idolatry is rather obvious: sex, money, power, fame, influence, and such like. These are issues that drain spiritual vitality from Christians to lure us away from the priority of Christ. But there are also others. A failure to forgive others of wrongs against us is a form of idolatry. It says, in essence, “God may forgive you, but I won’t forgive you.” Does not this place us as one greater than God?

When Moses repeated the Law to the 2nd generation of Israel, he listed the commandments in chapter 5 (Deut. 5:1-21), and gave the corrective in chapter 6, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and might.” (Deut. 6:5). How do I keep myself from idolatry? By loving God supremely! To love anything or anyone more than God – including myself or my family – is idolatry.

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