“Little children, guard yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21 (NASB)

What kinds of things come to mind when you hear the word idol? If you’re like me then you probably imagine a big statue being bowed down to by crowds of people. But if statues are the only kinds of idols, then we probably have nothing to worry about. What are idols then, and why does Scripture tell us to guard ourselves against them? Idols are anything to which we give the love and attention belonging to God, in turn distracting us from him.

We are blessed to live in a day and age where we can experience may luxuries, such as phones, television, and toys. These things are not inherently bad, but if we do not give them the proper attention they deserve, they can become idols. Sometimes we don’t even realize when we are idolizing something. For instance, how many of us like to get good grades? Of course we all like to get good grades. And this is a good thing, we should want to do well in our school work. However, if we are only focused on getting good grades, then we can turn our grades into idols. When we turn our grades into an idol, we are desiring them too much and are paying more attention to them than we should instead of focusing on glorifying God through everything we do. A want is only acceptable until it becomes a need.

Leviticus 19:4 (NIV) says, “Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.” In this verse, God is telling us that he is a jealous God and that he doesn’t like when we create our own gods and worship them instead of him. If we idolize something, we lose focus of the things which matter and become distracted from God. In order to avoid turning something into an idol we should make sure to give it the proper amount of attention and love.

Idols are not only statues made of gold or other precious metal, they can be anything from phones to grades. When we make an idol, we are devoting too much attention and love towards it and not enough towards God. Therefore, I challenge each of you to look for things in your life which you may have turned into idols and see if they are distracting you from God and the things that really matter.

As part of their training in Rhetoric, our students in grades ten and up are required to develop and present a brief presentation to the school body during Chapel with guidance from their instructors and school curriculum. Each student presentation must be understandable and relevant to all age groups. Sowing seeds of rhetoric training by requiring them speak to all age levels has yielded a harvest for all to enjoy.

This week’s presentation was given by Brandon, one of our tenth grade students (pictured above).