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Cast Away Your Idols

Ever since I was little, I have always loved playing the game of monopoly. The rules of this board game are quite simple. Collect a lot of money, buy a bunch of properties along with houses and hotels, and make more money than the other guys. A lot of times in the world we see this same sort of idea in everyday life. People are always looking for ways to “hit it rich” out in the world by obtaining as much “stuff” as possible. Don’t misunderstand me; there is nothing wrong with wanting material things or having nice possessions. James 1:17 says that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” meaning that God has blessed us with many things. The problem that we face in our lives today is that people have become so consumed with the idea that you can only be somebody if you have the most money and the best stuff. Therefore, they make it their life goal to become the biggest and best. As a result of this goal, their lives completely change and they lose sight of what is really important in life. As Christians in a society where money and stuff equals power, we cannot forget why we are really here. While we are on this earth we have one goal, we are to grow closer towards God and make it our aim to build a relationship with God so that one day we may be with him in heaven. When trying to reach our goal there are three things that we must do. We must set our priorities; we must figure out the things that hold us back, and we must be able to “cast away our idols”.

The first step in achieving our goals is to set our priorities. Consider for example professional athletes. Dirk Nowitzki didn’t just wake up one morning and say “Hey I think I want to be a professional basketball player”, then lace up some shoes, and become an NBA legend. He had to get his priorities straight and understand what is most important when it comes to becoming good at basketball. This meant passing up on movies with the guys in order to get in an extra workout or some more shooting practice. Now, I’m not here to teach you how to become a basketball player, but this same concept can apply to our everyday life. In order for us to reach our goal we must establish what is truly important when it comes to reaching our goal. Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” In whatever we do, we must understand that Christ is our first priority and it is through prayer and the studying of his word that we are able to understand that.

The second thing that we must do in order to reach our goal is establish what keeps us from striving towards the things that are most important. We are told in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” We cannot let the things of this world keep us from doing what is right. There are too many out in the world who have become so consumed with something that they want to achieve, whether it’s a successful role in corporate America, or having lots of money or property, that they lose sight of what is their main purpose in life. And before long, you see a dwindling of their faith and gradual decrease of church attendance to a point where their priorities are completely off.

Finally, if we are to grow closer to God we must be able to put aside our “idols”. For some this may mean not taking that new promotion if it means that you are better able to serve God. I have heard countless stories of people who have given up their dreams of becoming rich and famous because they knew that they would never be able to go to church or it would keep them from growing closer to God. Luke 12:34 tells us that “where our treasures lie there our heart will be also.” In order to put aside the distractions of this life there is one thing that we must know. The things of this world do not last forever. In the game of monopoly after it is all over you just put everything back into the box. In a sense, our lives are just like that. We could build up all sorts of riches, but in the end they don’t last forever. Christ said in Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in a steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” In the end we must realize that our goal of reaching heaven can never be accomplished if we don’t establish our priorities, figure out what keeps us from drawing closer to God, and learn to “cast away our idols”.

- Caleb White