Idol worship

“God created man in his image,” the saying goes, “and man, being a gentleman, returned the favor.”

I’m not sure who said it; I’ve seen it attributed to Mark Twain, Voltaire, and others. But whoever said it, it rings true. It seems the one, true God isn’t enough for us, so we create more.

Or we elevate ourselves to the position.

This week I saw on the news that a newly elected councilwoman in Missouri had taken the oath of office on a Dr. Seuss book. And she read this: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

Look, I like the book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. We gave it to our kids. I quoted it when I was a colonel in the Air Force speaking to new graduates of Air Force Honor Guard training. It’s fun, and speaks to the opportunities that many people are blessed with in a free country.

But swearing by it?

Can we really steer ourselves any way we choose?

And if we could, would we go in the right direction?

And what happens when we can’t? What happens if we fail? Get lost?

The freedom to steer ourselves is a great thing, but swearing by it takes a great thing and turns it into an ultimate thing.

That’s what an idol is, by the way; a great thing that we make into an ultimate thing.

And when we are the idol, when our god looks mostly like us, we’re in for a letdown. Could we just let God be God?

So with apologies to Dr. Suess…

With God in your heart, you’ll make a great start.

With God’s Spirit to guide you, you’ll know Christ is inside you.

And up hills and down, through thick and through thin,

No matter what happens, God will make you like Him. 

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