Let’s all be honest with ourselves and say we have struggled with putting things in front of God. I understand that we are not bowing down to anything or singing their praises like during worship in church but when I start valuing these things above my relationship with God, it’s natural for my heart to put them in his place.
With that in mind here are some things that I’ve placed above God:
For most of my childhood the most important thing in my life was making sure I was comfortable. I dislike conflict and really any kind of discomfort even when I know it’s for my eventual good. As a result, I often seek comfort by watching one of my favorite movies instead of going to God with what is going on in my life. To be uncomfortably honest, I have let my insecurities drive me to emotional eating, trying to escape reality through music, or just zoning out instead of actually dealing with what is going on and going to God with my issue. This mindset is incredibly easy for me to slip into and I pray daily for God to renew my mind and focus it on what he has for me rather than my instinctual selfish behaviors.
The desire to want to fit in is real and exists in all of us to a certain extent. In the US that often involves spending money on things that are advertised as “necessary” to be stylish, classy, or accepted. My most recent major run in with how much this moment I arrived back home from my honeymoon. The living room was piled with a combination of my stuff, his stuff, and the new addition of a bunch of wedding presents and we were tasked with the process of figuring out what we needed to get rid of. We had a ton of stuff that one of us had bought that we rarely used but our culture had taught us to keep it because it looked nice or just to have it even if it made our lives more cluttered and harder to manage. During the process of cleaning out all of our stuff, I kept seeing all of my “friends” on Facebook decorating their houses to be picture perfect, which led me to want to spend even more money on stuff to make our place look like an HGTV fairytale. All of this made me take a step back to think about why I felt this way, was it more important for people to think my house is cute or for my husband and I to have a place to live where we could focus and be productive on what God has called us to do. This really help put things in proper perspective.
Does your job define you or the amount of money you take home bring you comfort? I grew up thinking that I needed to be self-sufficient and be able to take of my own problems. Because of this I end up wanting to control my surroundings and make decisions based on what I feel is safest for me not based on what God is doing in my life. It’s important to learn and realize that not only is my identity in Christ but that there is no amount of wealth or protection I can build for myself that can’t be wiped away by the world.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.Colossians 3:5
In the next part of the series we will address how to deal with these idols in our lives and to focus our worship on God.