When I get something I want, that I’ve wanted for a long time, I tend to go greater lengths than usual to protect it (especially because I’m ridiculously clumsy sometimes). When I got my purple 8G iPod Nano, I was sooo excited. Every time I left so much as a fingerprint on the screen I cleaned it (with that little cloth that came with my glasses), I came up with clever names for my seldom used playlists and spent weeks looking for the perfect screen protector and case (so as not to mar the natural beauty of the iPod of course). Strangely enough, after nicking one of the corners (by way of sidewalk) I wasn’t so particular about taking care of my iPod anymore. Looking back, that was probably what made me realize that I had made a god of my iPod. In fact, at that time in my life, I was probably more devoted to my iPod than God.
I see people (usually the same people) washing their cars every weekend. They have the super-soft shammy cloths to pamper the car, vanity tags (ILUVME), ultra exclusive rims, and other expensive or unnecessary customization efforts. These things in and of themselves don’t seem so bad but why do people have them? Who exactly are they showing off for? I wonder if these people are even half as attentive to God as they are to their vehicles. Apparently they don’t realize which relationship is more important. After all, their cars will never get them to heaven (no matter how fast they are).
Not limited to material possessions, there is an innumerable amount of things that we can make our gods if we are not careful like food (how many times have we been lured by the call of comestibles yet not headed the call of God?), exercise, travel, winning (not a Charlie Sheen eference), love and entertainment. Speaking of entertainment, let’s take a look at the people we call “idols” (American or otherwise) like Beyoncé, Clooney, Beckham, Tyra, Bieber (I don’t get the appeal), Kanye, Ovechkin, Manning, Lebron, Spears, or Portman (the list is extensive). Why is it that we buy their music (and listen to it for hours), watch their games or movies (for hours), buy their books (and read them for hours), and put their posters on our walls (to stare at for hours)? Why do we value them so much but have so little regard for our Creator? I’m more of an animanga otaku so my potential idols are a little different (Luffy, Haruhi, Ichigo, Naruto, Sawako). Ahem, however, the point is that we must be careful not to manufacture gods and even more careful not to put them above God. God deems this idea so important that He made it the first commandment; “And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20: 1-3). That is not to say that any commandments are more important than the others but if we abide by this first one, we will naturally abide by the others. Remember the goal is God first!