Do you worship idols? Are there other gods that are nearer and dearer to your heart than the God of the Bible? Probably so.
These idols and false gods probably aren’t sitting on your mantle though. There are many good things in our lives which serve as idols. In the coming month or so, I’d like to look at some of the good things in life that are commonly transformed into idols.
I’ll begin with one that is especially true in the South: college football. I live in the land of the SEC, the finest college football conference in the universe. During the fall months, life revolves around Saturday. All week is filled with frequent checks of the injured lineman’s status for this week, chats with friends about how “we’re” going to slow down the Heisman-hopeful running back, and dreams of seeing the game-winning Hail Mary pass as time expires. Saturday is game day. Sunday is time to complain about the coach’s idiotic move to go for a Fullback Dive on 3rd and 1 instead of a QB Sneak. Monday, the routine starts all over. That is until football season is over. Then, it’s time to visit the message boards to see how recruiting is going for “us” and whether or not John Doe will return for his senior season.
Hear me say this loud and clear: college football is not bad. I like college football, and yes, I am excited about the LSU/Alabama game on Saturday night. The problem is that we have the tendency to take good things and turn them into idols.
We take something that is good, and then, we begin to find more enjoyment in that thing than we do in God. Now, let’s apply this to college football. Do Saturdays spent watching football fill your heart with more joy and satisfaction than hearing news of your forgiveness that is found in Christ? Does the game on Saturday normally dictate your weekend schedule more than the worship service that will be taking place at your church on Sunday? Is more of your time and energy spent familiarizing yourself with the team’s roster and recruitment list than with the Bible? Is your identity as a Bulldog, Rebel, etc. more sacred to you than your identity in Christ?
If you find yourself answering “yes” to these, then your place of worship is probably named Bryant-Denny Stadium, Davis Wade Stadium, or something of the sort, and your idol is probably an odd-shaped, leather ball.
Please do not hear me saying that you shouldn’t watch college football. Enjoy it. But don’t be foolish enough to find your ultimate joy and satisfaction in a bunch of college kids running around a field.
Jesus Christ is the source of unending joy!
The next time you hear the stadium erupt with “Hotty Toddy” or any other cheer, think about Revelation 7. There will be a great multitude that no one can number from every tongue, tribe, and nation singing, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” That’s what should get your heart pumping faster. Only Christ is worthy of that type of passion and devotion.
Praise be to Him!