Who our heroes are tells us a great deal about ourselves. Ask any group of kids in your midst who their heroes are and you will likely get a variety of responses. Many heroes will be sports' figures. Some may be family who served in the military. Some will point to an action figure that has made his or her fame on the big screen, either by the action figure's name (Iron Man for example) or the actor himself (Robert Downey). I know this because I taught in school and kids were keen when it came to culture.
Sometimes we even grow to idolize these figures, but we can idolize more than fame and celebrity. Take for example our own children. They can, for whatever reason, take center stage in our lives and our identity is consumed by our children, their activities, and their future. So, are you saying that loving our children is idolizing them? No, I'm saying that when we look at this commandment (the First Commandment) of not putting God first and following idols, they (idols) can come from a direction we least expect. Loving our children and sacrificing our entire life for them are two separate issues.
So, when we speak of "idols," sometimes we unfortunately look past what may be a problem because we've slowly fallen into the problem. Idol worship is likely not be something we just decided to do one day and stopped worshipping God altogether to focus on our new god. Instead, we may just find ourselves there. When Martin Luther examines the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods," he examines the simple commandment from a variety of perspectives, but the most important perspective is his analysis of what God expects of us with this commandment. "...we revere Him alone as the highest being, honor Him with our lives, and avoid what displeases Him.... We love God above all things when we cling to Him alone as our God and gladly devote our lives to His service." Christ tells us in Matthew 10, "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."
We hit a slippery slope when we take our eyes off God. It can be a slow descent or it can be a fall. Pray that we always above all things love, cling, devote, revere, and honor God, and we pray for His forgiveness when we do things that displease Him, including not to turn to Him as we should. We give thanks to our God who provides us with mercy and forgiveness and grace.
Hope Men's Ministry