For the past few weeks Justin’s been preaching on idolatry. Ask anybody at Round Rock and he or she will quickly admit that the series has been a royal pain in the rump. We are all experiencing growing pains. Who knew we were idolaters?
I know now, and you’d better believe I’m making changes.
I found this gem last night as I was reading Galatians. Paul writes:
"Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?"
I refuse to be enslaved all over again. As Paul says just a few verses later, “[We] were called to freedom.”
This week Justin talked about “The god of Respectability,” calling us to stop serving the idol of human approval. I was moved because this has been one of my idols, one I’ve tried very hard to shake. I care far too much what others think about me. It’s why I think about clothes so much. It’s why I apply makeup in the preschool parking lot before dropping off my kids. It’s why I discipline differently when I’m at Whole Foods in Austin (hippies do not welcome spanking, folks).
I want people to like me. I want them to think I’m cool and smart and interesting and pretty. I filter almost every action or word through the strainer of public opinion.
But God is not a fan of public opinion. Jesus says in Luke, "What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”
Charles Spurgeon, echoing this sentiment, called public opinion “the common consent of fools.”
Oscar Wilde, not a particularly Godly man but not one to kowtow to others either, wrote:
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
I do not want to be a mimic or a puppet, or a ship, sails up, waiting for the winds of culture. I do not want to be chained to the constantly shifting whims of the people around me.
I want to be free. And the only way to be free is to be a slave to the right master. Paul says, “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Justin mentioned on Sunday that whenever we’re tempted to act or speak the way we know another person would want us to act or speak, conforming ourselves to their image, we should remember that they are not our God. He said, “Go ahead and say it—in your head of course—You are not my God.”
I’ll take it one step further and say it out loud. You people out there, You are not my God.
Don’t worry. You don’t want to be a god. You’d be terrible at it.