The first half of this new decade has been unordinary, to say the least. We’ve experienced a pandemic, societal unrest, breaking news by the minute, murder hornets, dust storms, and toilet paper shortages, just to name a few.
When COVID-19 started to escalate and the quarantines and panic ensued, many Christians posited that perhaps the Lord was going to use the year 2020 to help give us 20/20 vision by opening our eyes to our need for Him. During a global pandemic, things we once thought were sureties became uncertain. Medical experts were perplexed, government leaders were scrambling for solutions, the Hollywood elite stopped filming, and sports were cancelled mid-season.
For me, the quarantine confirmed that, apart from spending time with my loved ones and my fur babies, much of my free time was filled with shopping, movies, television, music, and social media. That makes me sound quite shallow when I type it out, but it’s true. And if you’re an average American, it might be true for you too. In our culture, celebrities are worshipped, athletes are revered, influencers tell us how to spend our money, and politicians tell us what to think.
COVID-19 exposed many of my idols, which are more conspicuous than a golden calf; they’re activities and things and people that aren’t always inherently bad. My idols are typically blessings from God that I have wrongfully elevated above God. In my head, I don’t consciously think, “I love TV more than God.” But when I repeatedly choose a mindless show over time in His Word, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.1 Corinthians 10:14
The virus exposed my idols; the societal unrest is breaking down my idols. This blog isn’t meant to ignite a debate about what’s currently going on in our country. I have plenty of opinions, and if you know me, you know I’m willing to discuss them, but that’s not my point here. The point is that I have repeatedly been disappointed by people and organizations I respect, admire, and — idolize. I believe many are blindly buying into a narrative of confusion, fear, and violence for the sake of being seen as trendy or “woke.” Every day, I see something on social media or hear a statement on the news from someone I used to revere as a hero and I cringe. Ignorance really is bliss when it comes to knowing (or rather, not knowing) where my favorite actors, singers, companies, and athletes stand on many issues.
However, the Lord is both exposing and breaking down my idols by the hour by not allowing me to live in ignorance. I’m not saying that I won’t continue to watch television with actors who I disagree with or visit theme parks with leaders who think differently than I do. The point is that each day that I’m disappointed by people and organizations, I realize how much I’ve elevated their positions in my heart. More and more I realize that Jesus is the only One who will never disappoint me.
He will never change His Word or His promises.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.Hebrews 13:8
He will never cause confusion in my heart.
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.1 Corinthians 14:33
And He is never caught by surprise when the world is in chaos.
Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.Psalm 147:5
As you reflect on the first half of 2020, what has the Lord been teaching you? How has He been working in your life?