Idolatry in a Techie World, Even at a Christian College

Written by: Kerin Hanson

Friday, May 20, 2016

What is Idolatry? This may seem like a strange or unpopular topic, but for me and you it is important to talk about, and a very relevant issue for Christian college student life.

So what is it really? It may call to mind an image of praying to little statues of colorful deities, but there is more to it than that. Idolatry is making ANYTHING else in your life more important than God. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it can be something that starts out good, like your family, advancing in a career, etc. However, if it gets in the way of your relationship with God, if you choose something over God then you are making that thing your idol.


Is this relevant in your life today? Do you own a smartphone?  

Is this device in itself an evil thing? No. Can a smartphone be used in ways that are blatantly sinful? Yes. How do you use your phone? If you are like me, you do a lot with your phone every day. I like to read e-books, sit on Facebook, play games, take pictures and videos of my kids,  do work, e-mail, text and call people. None of these activities are sinful by nature, but some of these at times have taken over my life, taking priority over the things that are most important. Do I really need to check my Facebook timeline when my kids are asking me to play with them? No, but I catch myself doing it anyway. Do I really need to review Instagram posts when I have set aside time to read my Bible and be with God? No, but I do that  sometimes too.


Do you see the problem? At these times I have put Facebook AHEAD of God. I have officially made Facebook an idol for me because it has been more important to me. This is a huge deal!

There is nothing inherently wrong with the phone or the app, but if you are making the conscious choice to put something ahead of God then you are worshipping something else. Do you sit on your cell phone and text when you should be listening to your Pastor or Youth Pastor? Do you play games or sit on Facebook when you should be studying God’s word? These are all questions you have to ask yourself in the current world we live in, where technology is everywhere around us, and conveniently in your pocket or purse at all times. Be careful with what you are doing and watch out for the little things that could be taking over your time with God.

Does this one hit home for you as it does for me? What immediately comes to mind for you as you read about idolatry? Finances? A relationship? A job? Success? Popularity? An activity? Yourself? There are many forms that idolatry can take. You don’t need to cancel your account or go on a media blackout, but you should stay aware of the choices you are making. The sin of Idolatry is rooted in this idea that something is more important than God or what he wants for us. It could be money, school, power, yourself, your friends, your boyfriend/girlfriend and many other things.  Look at what you are putting first, what you are distracted by, or spending more of your time with. Is it God or is it something else in your life?



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