American Idol = Lifestyle

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What do good luck charms, amulets and a gold statue have in common with the American lifestyle? Each one could win an idol contest. What? The American lifestyle, an idol? So, what’s an idol anyway?

Let’s take a counter cultural journey to understanding an American Idol.

In Daniel 3, a book in the Bible, Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar orders everyone to worship a 90-foot gold statue. However, three guys vehemently rebelled against that order because they worshipped the true and living God. Every time the unified sounds of the rams’ horns, flutes, lyres, and harps played, everyone bowed and worshipped the gold idol, except the guys. The king summoned them to the palace to force them to comply or burn. They told to the king, “No! Our God can save us from the fire, but if He doesn’t, it’s ok. We will never honor your god or worship your statue.” For the surprising ending to this event, read Daniel 3.

What do these three guys and a gold statue have to do with our American lifestyle? Modern day idols can take the form of clothes, homes, automobiles, businesses or even habits, which may I suggest includes lifestyles. In essence, idolatry involves worshipping a false god, something or something that not real. God says in the Bible to have, “No other gods, only me … Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God” (Exodus 20: 3, 5).

When the Coronavirus invaded our world, and we hurried home to protect ourselves, our lifestyles abruptly changed. The government mandated that we separate the essential activities in our lives from the non-essential ones. However, a mandate can take stuff out of our schedules but not out of our hearts. Why is this important?

For those of us who survive the pandemic (yes, the virus is that serious), we have the opportunity to clean our schedules; start from scratch. We get to redetermine, what’s essential in our lives and what things merely distract us from achieving our greatest goals. Ironically, it takes about two months to form a new habit. We will probably have about that much time in isolation, if not more. Let’s repurpose it.

In my three weeks, going on four, I have cooked more (and saved money; restaurants are closed), turned off the television (I could only take so much) and exercised on a regular basis (what else is there to do?). Before now, how many of us seriously tried to do our own pedicures? And then, there’s the God thing.

Isolation gives us more time to hear God’s voice. With all the false mini gods in our lives hushed, God can take center stage. So, the next time the Monday night game music starts or the crew calls about hanging out, instead of bowing, you can say, “No.” Let the social pressures in your life know that there’s a new God in town!

What part of your lifestyle has the new stay-at-home order exposed as an idol?

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