The Idolatry Of Prioritizing Others More Than God
A prevalent misconception among many individuals is that idolatry is limited to the veneration of religious statues and images. Nonetheless, nothing could be further from the truth. Idols are anything that undermines the Lord or places something above God. When Moses received the ten commandments from the Lord on Mount Sinai, the prohibition against idolatry was emphasized at length. This is because the Lord forewarns the Israelites against this pagan practice, which they are very prone to adopting. According to Exodus 20:4,
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."
It is not necessary to bow down or pray to someone or anything in order to be guilty of idolatry. The Lord Jesus emphasized that anyone who serves anything (or anyone) without first dedicating their time, treasure, and talent to the Lord is already guilty of serving another master or lord. To commit idolatry, all that is required is to "serve" (Gk, douleo), which in a negative sense means to be engaged in the service of someone or something without regard for the Lord. This also implies putting something or someone before the Lord. Pesel is the Hebrew word for "image," which can also imply "idol." Furthermore, an idol based on the Hebrew word can also be rendered a "lie.” The following are some types of idolatry in which a believer can abandon responsibilities to Him and His kingdom:
(1) Familiolatry - This is putting your family before the Lord to the extent that you use them as an excuse to avoid serving Him in the local church. (cf. Lk. 14:26; Mk. 3:33-35)
(2) Diakonolatry - This is putting your church ministry above the Lord to the point where you neglect solitude with Him (cf. Lk. 10:40-42).
(3) Ergolatry - This is putting your business or work ahead of the Lord so that you neglect the Lord's day or the assembling of believers for encouragement (cf. Heb. 10:25).
(4) Kardiolatry - This is putting your emotions before the Lord by disregarding His word because you are only concerned with how you feel (cf. Jer. 17:9).
(5) Ploutolatry - This is putting money, riches, and possessions ahead of the Lord without using your material blessing to advance His kingdom. (cf. Luke 12:16-21)
(6) Sarkikolatry - This is putting your flesh before the Lord is when you follow the dictates of your worldly or carnal desires in order to satisfy yourself (cf. Col. 3:5).
(7) Hupsomolatry - This is putting your own intellect and rationale above the Lord to the point where you disregard the truth and principles of God's word (cf. 2 Cor. 10:5).
(8) Egolatry - This is putting yourself or your selfish needs ahead of the Lord so that you are solely concerned with your own welfare. (cf. Phil. 2:3)
Obviously, it is wrong to neglect your family responsibilities in order to focus on the ministry, as this behavior is even worse than that of an unbeliever (cf. 1 Tim. 5:8). We must learn to achieve a balance without sacrificing the time, treasure, and talent that are God's. How are your moments of solitude with God? Are you utilizing your talents and skills to build up the church? Are you concentrating so much on the world's material goods that you neglect doing things for the Lord? Are you so self-absorbed that you indulge yourself? Are you spending most of your money on yourself without regard for the propagation of the gospel and the advancement of God's kingdom? How much do we love the Lord? As the Lord Jesus said,
“But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33).
Other references: Jn. 21:15-17; Lk. 12:21
You must be logged in to post a comment
No related articles.