Whenever something “good” becomes what’s “best,” we may be worshipping an idol. That’s a thought that rose to the surface as I was having a discussion today with some other pastors about the book Center Church by Timothy Keller.
You’re probably quick to agree. Sure! When people take a good drink of wine and make it the “best” way to deal with problems, then it’s an idol. When people take a good job with a great income and let it become the “best” solution to every money problem, then it’s an idol. When someone takes a good hobby like golf and lets it become the “best” way to spend every free minute (including during the time for worship), then it’s an idol. Makes sense, right?
BUT, we who would never do such things may easily become smugly self-righteous … and overlook our OWN “best” idols. They can sneak up on us whenever we get our priorities out of whack (recall the “Thumbs Up” order).
When “good” music we love as part of worship becomes the “best” part of worship that overshadows everything else, esp. Jesus, then it’s an idol.
When “good” sports and activity programming for the kids becomes the the “best” part of their church involvement and there’s no place for Jesus, then it’s an idol.
When “good” couples’ programming at church causes husbands and wives to see each other as the “best” part of life, even more important than Jesus, then it’s an idol.
ANYTHING “good” that becomes “better” than Jesus and is the “best” thing we have, is an idol. We’re all guilty of having such idols. It’s easy to do. It’s one of the greatest weak spots for Christians. We want to pursue what’s “good” in life. We know this pleases the Lord. But, our sinful nature loves to take control and push us over the line of what God calls “good” … and we stumble into “best” idolatry.
Here’s what I need to do, and I pray you’ll join me. Receive, again, Christ’s free forgiveness for my idolatry. Pray that He’ll guard me from it. Enjoy all the “good” things in life. Then, every day, keep my priorities clear with thanks and praise to the ONE who is “BEST” … my perfectly loving and forgiving Lord and Savior, Jesus.