The urgent whisper came from Grace during worship service one Sunday morning:
“Do you have any idocals?”
“Do you have any idocals? Daddy has some, I saw them.”
Ummm….. I’m sorry but I don’t understand what you mean.
“You know, idocals. Daddy has idocals. Those little brown statues that look like monkeys. Idocals in the Bible are gold.”
Oohhhhhh, idols! Those aren’t idols. Those are just little monkey statues.
“Because they’re not gold?”
No, because Daddy doesn’t worship them.
“Oh!” She smiled at me then settled in my lap.
A minute later, another whisper, “Mommy! Does an idocal have to be gold?”
No, sweetie. An idol doesn’t have to even be a statue. Anything can be an idol.
“Then what’s an idocal? I mean, idol?”
An idol is something that somebody loves more than God.
“Do you have any idols, Mommy?”
My reply was rapid, “No, of course not!”
Grace smiled, satisfied then. “I don’t have any idols either.”
I tried to refocus on worship, and a few moments later I heard her little voice, “Mommy, I actually don’t love you bigger than everything there is. I love God bigger than everything there is. I love you the second best.”
I hugged her tight, thankful that her heart was so easy to calm. My own mind struggled to hear the rest of the lesson though because I was left wondering, Do I have any idols?
Facebook used to be one.
My phone might be an idol.
My blog? Maybe.
An idol is something that pushes God out and replaces Him in our hearts. I have short devotionals with my children, yes. I also pray throughout the day as I’m working on other tasks. But my own personal Bible time? That often gets pushed to the side. I regularly spend 30 minutes checking e-mail and blogs on my phone in the morning. Or I might get an early start on my computer so I can write a bit before getting ready for the day. But the 15 minutes it takes to do my daily Bible reading often gets pushed out.
Am I making the Internet my idol? The very real possibility that maybe I am is a scary thought.
Do you have an idol?
A desire for perfection can be an idol. Or maybe you have time to text friends for 15 minutes on your lunch break, watch TV most evenings, run your kids to sporting events, style your hair and put on nice make-up every day, or go to the gym, but you can’t seem to fit in a 15 minute Bible study.
Remember, anything that pushes God out is an idol. And I’m not talking about a crying baby needing fed or a two-year-old who is tangled up in his clothes when he’s trying to get dressed.
I’m talking about the things we choose to fill our extra moments with. I choose to blog. I choose to have a smart phone. I choose to keep my house clean enough. The objects and activities in themselves aren’t bad.
But when those things happen and Bible study doesn’t, I’ve crossed a dangerous line and I need to examine my heart.
I also need to make sure I’m worshiping and studying out of a love for God, not just to “put my time in” – Christianity doesn’t have a time clock because we either are or we aren’t.
So I’m praying. I’m again refocusing. I’m asking God to give me a heart that thirsts for His Word. I may never do things perfectly, but I do know that I don’t want to have any “idocals.” I’d rather disconnect my phone and throw away my computer than have idols in my life and in my heart.
“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.” Matthew 18:8
One day I’ll regret time I wasted on unimportant things but I’ll never regret time spent at the feet of Jesus.