Monday, November 09, 2009

Repudiating Idols, Part 1

It is all over the Word of God: we believers must repudiate idols.

What is an idol? It is anything in the mind or heart, soul or strength that takes the place of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The first of the "two great commandments" that Christ gave us (with the second being, "Love your neighbor as yourself") was this: Love the Lord God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength." And anything that prevents God taking first, second, and third place and more in our minds, hearts, and being such that it becomes a center of life and takes us away from God as well as being with the family is an idol.

Idols in the Old Testament included wooden figures, "the golden calf," engravings and the like, violating the Second Commandment, "Thou shalt not worship graven images."

The New Testament refers to not just graven images that could be openly worshiped but also "images" "engraved" on our hearts and minds.

An idol thus can be someone like Michael Jackson, or political leaders, or philosophers, or authors, or musicians, or family members, even, or organizations, like the military, or sports franchises.

Many folks are "fans" of sports teams, but when the game is over they go back to doing the usual things that have nothing to do with that team, so that for a few hours on Sunday or during the week they care about if their team wins or loses. They are happy if the team wins and miffed if the team loses, but after a short time, they forget about it.

But then you have folks who can think of nothing but the team, being ecstatic if they win but upset and angry if they lose, so much so that they can't sleep the night before the game (especially football fans, since only about twelve games in college and sixteen in pro football are played any season, making the games more important), and so much so that they can't sleep the night the game is over because they are too excited still or too depressed.

And I was one of these folks. Idolizing this team has in fact kept me from posting here. It is an NFL team. I won't mention the team so I will make up the name. It is a big city team (as most are), so I will call this team, in place of the actual team I won't mention since it is not important, the "Big City Bulldogs." I have idolized this team for nearly forty years, off and on. Over the last several years they had become a bad team, but last year they made the NFL playoffs and I was again ecstatic about this team and in the off-season this spring and summer followed their every move, forgetting about this blog and putting God, and family even, not in first place or even second or third. This team this year is not doing quite as well as last year but they aren't doing badly either, so it is not like I am giving up this team because they are losing a bunch again. In fact I have repudiated this team precisely because they can still make the playoffs and I do not want to get involved in that again. Better to do it when the team is maybe not a sure thing to make the playoffs, than to do it when the team is a serious contender, which would make it very hard to do for a serious fanatic.

I simply could not just say it is no big deal, I will ignore them until the playoffs. No, because I have been too fanatical in the past and recently. So, I have had to totally, in private with my Lord and Savior, and also publicly over the Internet, repudiate being a fan of this team. I have skirted this issue the last several weeks and can no longer just gloss over it. I have proclaimed my giving up this team, and following NFL football, period. I can never "take another drink," that is, watch another football game in earnest, again, as an alcoholic can never take another drink of alcohol again.

And no matter how often Satan or his minions tempt me again with following football, I must repudiate him and repudiate football and this team. It is too bad it had to come to that, but it has to come to that.

God has work to do with using me, and He ain't gonna use me if my mind and heart and soul and strength is given over to some football team which has done little to nothing for me lately, except "bragging rites."

In the next post and others, I will relate what I did and how I did it, with the strength of the Lord to guide me, since I didn't do it on my own.

No comments: