Friday, October 21, 2011

Loyalty vs Idolatry

"For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: "
~ Exodus 34:14 ~
"Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; "
~ Deuteronomy 11:16 ~

If you know me, you know I am a Georgia Bulldog fan. I am not what I would call an avid football fan, I can sit and watch a game especially if it's a close game. But more often than not you'll find me listening to it on the radio, usually because I have things to do during the game and I can't just sit down and watch it. But, on occasion we all sit down to watch the game together. Well, this past week was such an occasion, some friends from church (who happen to be pretty avid GA fans) invited us all over for the GA vs Vandy Game. We had a lot of fun and good fellowship with some great friends.
As we were watching the game,  one of our own GA players tackled a Vandy player and started punching him. For us as fans we want to think that our team will never do anything wrong, and that something "must" have happened before the camera turned on the player. When GA received a penalty there were GA fans booing, for me it was a no-brainer that we'd get a penalty. Personally I think Richt should have taken him out of the game (he wasn't doing a good job on the field anyway, his replacement would've done a lot better than he was doing). We deserved what we got and more for his actions. When I saw GA fans taking up for the team member even though he clearly had done something wrong, it made me start thinking about Loyalty that turns into something worse.
What does the GA vs Vandy game have to do with Loyalty and Idolatry? Well first let's look at the definition of Loyalty and Idolatry...

Loyalty - the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations.
Idolatry - excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.

Why is it that so often our loyalty, or faithfulness for something or someone turns into idolatry, or excessive or blind adoration? I think it is because we want something to look to as an "image" of God, we want to find something on earth that will give us a picture of what Christ is...it is what the Israelites did after they left Egypt. They wanted something visual, just as we do. We are visual people, we want something or someone to look to and when God asks us to give Him our full and complete adoration without looking at something visual it is very hard for us to do.
 So many times we say that we have no idols, but in all reality we have set one person above another because they "look" or "act" better than us or other people. We do not realize that by setting this person above others we are setting them up for failure and setting ourselves up for a lot of hurt and tears when this person lets us down. 
 People often mistake love of someone or something as loyalty. I am not saying that you cannot love someone or something and be loyal to it at the same time, but when someone or something becomes someone or something that you cannot or will not think wrong of, then it has become a god. Christ Jesus is the only person that can never do wrong, He is the only person we should idolize and be loyal to at the same time.
 Do not think to highly of anyone, a team, a friend, a pastor, a country, a state, etc. the higher pedestal you set them on the harder they will fall in your mind when they do something wrong (or the more you will talk them out of what they did wrong). The only god in your life as a Christian should be Christ, anything or anyone else will be a stone about your neck that will bring you down in the end.
  Please look carefully into your life and make sure you have not idolized someone that you are loyal to, it is quite easy to do. I have often done it to people that I held in high regard, they only let me down. But, God can never let you down. Only He is PERFECT and RIGHTEOUS in ALL THAT HE DOES.

So, although I am a loyal  GA fan, I will not idolize them.

Have you ever idolized someone or something and not realized that you were doing it?