Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday, January 31 ~ Miriam

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 11-12; Psalm 23; Matthew 23.
Today's scripture focus is 1 John 2:15.

15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Sooooo, how far does one take this?  Obviously if we were not meant to enjoy the beauty of nature, God would not have made Earth (or the rest of the universe, for that matter) beautiful.  And everybody says things like "Oh, I LOVE roses!"  Or gardenias or lilies or lakes or mountains or trees or horses or dolphins... or what have you.  Pretty sure that's not what John is talking about here.  I also say things like "I loved that book" or movie or TV show or song or store or hotel or work of art, and I hear others say things like that all the time as well.  Or "I love spaghetti" or pizza or steak or French fries or waffles or what have you.  (Hmmm, now I'm hungry.)  ALSO, not what John is talking about here.

At my Bible study last week we talked about the things that we allow to become idols in our lives, and I think that is more like what John is getting at. defines idol as:

an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.
an image of a deity other than God.
the deity itself.
any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion: Madame Curie had been her childhood idol.
a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom.
a figment of the mind; fantasy.

Boy, taken all together, that includes a lot more things than a graven image that we usually think of when we read the word idol in the Bible.  There isn't anything wrong with enjoying a story, be it in book, film or TV format, or different kinds of music, or enjoying particular kinds of food, or architecture, or art, or nature's beauty.  There also isn't anything wrong with looking up to a singer, actor, athlete, politician, teacher, coach, parent, etc. if they have admirable qualities we appreciate or would like to emulate.  We do need to be careful what, when, where, and how much.

If we allow the love of other things, any other things, to reduce or supplant our desire to walk with God, to spend time with Him, to serve and obey Him, to show His love to those around us, then we have a problem.

A fitness instructor whose Facebook page I follow said something interesting the other day.  I don't remember exactly how she put it, but it had to do with how we can say our priorities are such and such, but how we spend the majority of our time reflects what our priorities truly are.  That gave me something to think about.  Maybe it gives you something to think about too.

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Tomorrow's scripture focus:  1 John 2:16.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage:  Exodus 13-14; Psalm 24; Matthew 24.


LaughingLady said...

Our beliefs/priorities are proven by our actions and lifestyle, no doubt about it. I struggle with this one, too. Like, how do I KNOW when something is becoming too important, or if it already has? Am I placing the right amount of importance on the things that SHOULD be important? I think it's easy to cross the line into legalism with this issue and yet I fear that as a rule, I probably don't care enough or often enough about seeking the answers.

Curly-T said...

Very well said, Miriam!

TammyIsBlessed said...

So true.

One thing Driscoll said in his sermon was that there are many things that the world does that are not bad in and of themselves, but they're done for the wrong reason. Many of these things can be redeemed and done for God's glory. Instead of eating to the point of gluttony, we can feast and celebrate what God has done for us. Instead of having sex with whomever and whenever, we can celebrate intimacy the way God designed it. And on it goes.