Flee From Idolatry

by Scarlett Stough

The very first of the Ten Commandments reminds us that there is one God who delivers from slavery. The next forbids worshiping anything else as god. The next forbids making visible images to worship plus giving us the reasons why God alone is to be worshiped: God is jealous for his people; He punishes those who hate Him; and rewards those who love Him. Anything else we value more than God and His love enslaves us depriving us of freedom to pursue the abundant life only God can give (Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 11:28-30).

Idolatry begins in the heart. Worldly wisdom tells us to “follow your heart.” This worldly advice if followed leads to idolatry. Believing in God and that Jesus is the Son of God does not make us immune from the sin of idolatry. The Church in Corinth was warned by the apostle Paul “Do not be idolaters” (1 Corinthians 10:7) and also “flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:14). Idolatry is more than continuing to worship images of gods of another religion; we can make idols out of anything more important to us than love, faith, obedience and reliance on the Creator God. Adam and Eve committed idolatry by disobeying God and giving in to the tempter's lies (Genesis 3). Lies to be effective promise to give us what we desire, what we truly worship.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:1-6

To avoid pursuing false gods of materialism (including personal comfort), ideologies, status, popularity, or envying what another has acquired or achieved, our mental focus has to be on Christ “who is our life.”