You shall have no other gods before Me. – Exodus 20:3
I have a strange confession to make. I really dislike raspberries. My husband has joked that I was attacked by one as a child, and that’s not far from the truth. The backstory involves an abusive babysitter who, when told to feed me everything in sight to help me gain weight, tried to force-feed me a raspberry dessert when I had a stomach bug. It did not end well for either of us. And did I mention I have an especially unforgiving smell memory?
So one of my mission team members razzed me (sorry, can’t resist) on Facebook about my distaste for raspberries. She even posted a picture of a bowlful of the hairy little buggers. But I don’t want to be known as that woman who loathed raspberries. I want to be known as that woman who loved Jesus.
How Would People Describe You?
Imagine people gathered around a water cooler. Your name comes up. Somebody in the group is trying to help other people figure out who you are. And let’s assume they don’t go the physical description or office location route. What would she say about you?
A.) She’s that one who has become a major health junkie.
B.) Her office is covered with kitten posters – you know, that woman who always is talking about her cat.
C.) She can tell you everything you never wanted to know about Star Wars.
D.) You know her. She always talks about (fill in the blank: musician, author, website, actor).
E.) She’s the person who told me that natural raspberry flavoring can come from a beaver’s anal sac.
F.) She’s the sweet lady who loves to tell people about Jesus.
This is the one time in my life I want an F.
Time for Some Introspection
Think about the things that consume your time, money and thoughts. Think about the things you talk most about. And here’s a challenge: Think about the source of your truth.
We live in the ultimate information age, an age when so many things compete for our time, money and attention. Work and health are biblical considerations. But nothing can supersede our love for Jesus.
Maybe you’re finding yourself increasingly consumed with technology. Maybe your primary focus is on a human relationship. Maybe you’re taking your cues from the words of man and not the Word of God. Maybe you’re so honed in on your temple that you’ve left behind the God who has made His home there.
Maybe your god is your work. Your home. Your bank account. Your status. Your car. Your pet. Your talent. Your goals. Your hobby. Your stomach. Your intellect. Your lusts. Your favorite sport.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:21
Identify what you treasure. You’ll find your heart inside.
Repent and Return
It’s not too late to return to your first love. Remember, when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). He stands ready to forgive and give you a fresh start.
But be prepared for your priorities to shift. You may, like the rich young ruler, be asked to leave behind those idols that have ensnared you. Or perhaps God will use your health consciousness, your affinity for kittens, your love of all things Star Wars or even your distaste for certain fuzzy, soapy-smelling fruits to make connections for Christ.
You are entitled to enjoy, within reason, the things this world offers. You are even entitled not to enjoy some. But only Jesus can save. Set no gods before Him.