Those who make [idols] will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. Verse 8 (NIV)
One of Naomi’s favourite saying is, “If I don’t have a list; I feel listless.” It is a little bit of humour with a message. Needless to say, that concept rubbed off on me and when I have lists it really does keep me on track and focused on what needs to be done. But I’ve also found that lists can easily distort not only my life but also me.
The psalmist says that when we set up idols in our lives, we become like them. An idol can be anything in our lives (even lists) that becomes more important to us than God is or should be.
When my lists become too important, I see everything and every person in my world as a task that needs to be crossed off the list. That really distorts the meaning of loving God and my neighbor and caring for people in need. If all they are is an item on my list, I am not loving or caring for them at all.
There are hundreds of “things” that call out to us, saying, “Look! Pay attention to me! I’ll make you happy.” But they are all lying. Money and possessions turn our hearts toward “cold, hard cash.” Sexual pursuits reduce people and relationships to fleeting pleasures. Following all the “right” rules makes us judgmental of others and slaves to a law when what God intended for us was to have spiritual freedom.
We can find true, full life when God alone is at the center.
Lord, help me see the idols and distortions in my life, and grant me the grace and wisdom to cast them aside so that only you are at the center of my life. Amen.