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holdI really liked this simply put meme, shamelessly snagged off of facebook. Never hold onto anything tighter than you’re holding onto God.

Idols, idolatry, placing things before our own relationships with God or the things that come between us and God. Idols are not all golden calves these days, they come in many forms, especially in the modern world where it seems like so many things are competing for our attention. One thing that always confuses me about idols is that they can be good things, too. It is not the thing itself that is the problem so much as it is the imbalance it creates in our lives, the value we assign it, the way we let it come before us and God.

We people can make idols out of anything, even something perceived as good, like exercise, health, fitness. I’ve sometimes joked about my coffee idolatry but that really isn’t a joke, God once used my fondness for coffee to teach me about the power of idols. In the midst of a meltdown and the endless needs of others, I just wanted a cup of coffee and before you know it I was at the point of flinging them all off my planet, renouncing my faith and selling my soul to the enemy for a cup of coffee, which did compel me to say, whoah, hold up here, something has gone all awry with my perspective…. In the heat of the moment coffee began to represent far more than just “coffee.”

There are other idols that have tempted me, sometimes placing relationships with other people before God, and one that can be really hard on moms, making idols our own children. I’ve yelled at God about that one a few times,  as moms we are to hold on tight…but not tighter than we hold onto to God Himself. In mother hood that is a bit like putting on your own oxygen mask first on an airplane, it can feel counter intuitive, but if you and your own relationship with God does not come first you will soon become useless to all others.

Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of God being a jealous God, as if He is demanding our worship out of insecurity or something. I don’t perceive it that way at all, it is more about preventing our own suffering, making us stronger, reminding us about where our strength truly lies. Idols can be taken away, God cannot, He is steadfast and remains constant. When we can keep God first in our life, than when the poo hits the fan, we realize that God is all we need. He is our rock, our salvation, our cornerstone.