I have a wooden sign in my kitchen that proclaims, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. It’s a daily reminder to be cautious, attentive, and intentional about the actions of my day. It’s a reminder to avoid idols.
Idolatry, in its simplest definition, is anything or anyone in our life we have placed above God. One of the greatest mortal sins that we commit, many times without even knowing it, is idolatry. “You shall not have any gods before me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 20:3-5)
Satan fools us into thinking we do not worship idols because we do not have a ceramic Buddha in our home or do not have a golden calf in our kitchen. We may not have a wooden Greek god in our bedroom and do not say prayers or give sacrifices to ancient gods. However, when we place something or someone before the Lord then we are, essentially, bowing down to that god and making it our idol. Our careers quickly become idols, where we sacrifice attending Mass or prayer time at home for working extra hours for more money. We sacrifice reading Scripture and spending time with the Lord so we can attend an NFL game or spend the day boating on the lake. We do not even get through dinner without picking up a cellphone to check a text message or social media, yet, we say a 10 second blessing for the food and spend hours watching TV, on social media, or texting. We give God a 15-minute rosary and give Facebook two hours of scrolling. We talk for hours about the results of the college football game with our friends, but never mention Jesus to those we love. We toss in the $5 change in the collection basket at Mass that we received from dining out with friends and family the previous night, but we spend $300 on Amazon.
If we can spend time scrolling through Facebook, but cannot seem to find time to pray, then what is really our idol? If we go out of our way to make plans to spend time with our best friend, but neglect to find time to read Scripture and spend time in Adoration with our Lord, then who is really our god? If we spend 3-4 hours watching an NFL game on Sunday, but do not time to attend Mass, then what god are we really serving?
“If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Who do you truly serve? What is the idol in your life you need to smash?