By Christa Cottam
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.” Romans 1:25
Have you melted precious metals to make a golden calf? Me neither. Consequently, I've always assumed God’s command not to worship idols didn’t apply to me. But when I read a description of modern idolatry a few years ago, I realized I’m just as foolish as the ancient Israelites who rebelled against Him.
Pastor John Piper stated it plainly: "Idolatry is the thing or person loved more than God, wanted more than God, desired more than God, treasured more than God, enjoyed more than God.”
God designed us to be satisfied in Him alone, so if our hearts are wholly His, we won’t seek fulfillment elsewhere. But, if our attention is drawn from God, we look to ourselves and outside pleasures to supply our security, love, happiness, and worth.
That’s where idolatry brews.
Most of the things we turn into idols aren’t harmful or unhealthy—as long as we remain firmly rooted in God and remember who we are in Christ. Exercise and health, being a good wife or mother, a faithful provider for our family, and receiving affirmation can all be positive
But those things can never love us like God—not even those dearest to us. They will all eventually disappoint or fail us. But with God fixed as our foundation, we aren’t defeated when relationships struggle or devastated when we lose financial security.
As long as I live in this broken world with my sin-laden tendencies, I’ll likely face the temptation of idolatry. I ask God to pique my awareness—to be so in tune with my heart-health, my tendencies, weaknesses, and triggers—that I recognize when I’m beginning to peer down the rabbit hole of idolatry. I surround myself with Scripture—reminders that my worth is in Him and not in my weight, job title, or bank account. And I regularly speak with trusted individuals about my struggles, knowing that the prayer and support of others is powerful.
Christa Cottam is a spunky woman with a fire in her belly to tell others about Jesus—how He brought her from being held down by a past filled with shame, guilt and unforgiveness to embrace God’s love and ultimately find freedom to be the person He created her to be. She is passionate about encouraging women to go deeper in their relationship with God. Christa also uses her gifts in the arts and leadership to make kingdom impact at her church, serving as a worship leader and volunteering in women’s ministry.
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