Addictions & Idols

Simply put, we all have addictions. Each has diverse consequences but all are equally addictive. Take coffee for instance, coffee is an addictive substance; better yet it has addictive ingredients. However, addictions don’t have to come in the form of substance abuse. Phones can be as equally addictive as coffee. Being addicted really means that you have a deep desire to do something constantly. My phone isn’t the problem in and of itself. Its not like phones are the cause of the evil; rather the phone is just the projector. People don’t get addicted to television, in as much as they become addicted to television shows.

Like in coffee, people usually have an acquired taste. Email could be the addiction, or texting, games, Instagram, Facebook, pornography; there are all sorts of avenues for your attention. Mine came in the form of games, one game specifically, Candy Crush. I understand that I am not alone in my addiction so admitting isn’t so hard. (Side note: everyone has addictions, never be afraid to share yours. It helps.) Candy Crush became what I did with my free time, all the time.

That idol was made by a workman – it is not God! Hosea 8:6 (NET)

 It had never occurred to me that the game was an addiction. Just like it had never occurred to me that an addiction is just another word for an idol. The flesh causes us to justify these idols and can even cause us to crave our idols. My flesh says, “Now its unrealistic for me to say that Candy Crush is an idol… Right?” We justify our own deeds instead of letting Christ be our justification.

Stay with me here, it gets a little… weird. I noticed on my screen while lying down to play my game before bed, that the bright orange screen that pops up when I hit the app icon said, in bold white letters, “King”. Nothing new, did it every time I fired it up. (I think its the name of the developer or something.) But this time something in my spirit clicked. The inscription said “King”. Almost like it was proclaiming over my life its authority.

I instantly became convicted and erased the game, because my King isn’t a game on my phone, He is the King of Kings. Jesus, who gave His precious blood for my sins, surely needs to have all my free time, all the time.

I encourage you to take a life assessment. Evaluate your priorities, and then be sincere with yourself regarding your actions when compared to your beliefs. Do you measure up to what you expect? Sometimes, when doing this, I am ashamed of myself.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him. He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. Colossians 1:15-17 NET

Doesn’t Christ deserve to have the time we can spare? That we can allocate to Him? The answer is a roaring YES! If he is what we say he is to us then we should live up to our own words. I am convinced that every time you pray, every time you study your Bible, when you go to church, or when you sing praises to Him it is an act of faith. We have faith that He hears and listens to our prayers and praises. We have faith that He guides us and helps us, and faith that He will impart wisdom if we ask for it. When you use your faith it grows stronger and as is said in the book of James, “faith without works is dead.” If you don’t use your faith chances are you’ll loose your faith. Faith is absolutely vital to your spirit. It is a necessity.

Ask yourself this question, “Do I have more faith in an idol then the creator of the universe?” Sadly, sometimes we do. Because we allocate more time to pleasure then we do to service. We don’t take our own faith seriously.

“(My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.” – 1 John 2:1-2 NET

The good news is that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. Even idolatry. Praise God for the Advocate! Lets show our faith in the King.

“Little Children, guard yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21 NET

Manny Elswick
Tazewell Grace Fellowship