When we hear the word idol, we think of a statue of a person or animal that is the focus of worship. For example, we think of the golden calf the Israelites made soon after they left Egypt (Ex. 32:1-6). We know that God abhors such images, yet is it possible that we worship idols without knowing it?
I read about a woman who kept her car in showroom condition. One night her garage caught on fire, and her neighbors had to restrain her from rushing into the flames to rescue her car. As it exploded, she realized that she had nearly sacrificed her life for that car. It had become an idol.
An even more subtle form of idolatry is the reliance on our church activities to maintain a reputation for being spiritual. Or consider the man who keeps adding “one more gadget” to an already over-equipped home. If anything other than God becomes our primary focus in life, it is an idol.
In Colossians 3:5, Paul identified covetousness as a type of idolatry. He exhorted us to say no to these grasping ways that are part of our old self, and to say yes to our new self, created to live like Christ (v.10).
What’s the main focus of your life? The answer may surprise you.
Nothing between, like worldly pleasure,
Habits of life, though harmless they seem,
Must not my heart from Him ever sever—
He is my all! There's nothing between. —Tindley
An idol is anything that takes the place of God.