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Passing Thoughts: Naming Our Idols – Exodus 20:3

The golden calf was an idol created by ancient Isrealites while Moses was on Mount Sinai – 3d render.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” – Exodus 20:3

Recently, I read a book by the biblical scholar and evangelist, Christopher Yuan, and in it, he talked about idolatry in a way I had never considered. He said, “An idol is anything you cannot live without.” In my mind, an idol has always been something I worship more than God or depend upon more than God. To be sure, I have a few of those, but at least, being aware, I can repent and seek the help of the Spirit in my weakness. But… those things I cannot live without… That puts a different spin on the matter, I believe. There are more things I cannot live without than I’ve ever identified with idol worship.

We came into the world with nothing, recipients of a life we did not call into being. One day, we each will depart this world with nothing as well. For all of our days, from birth through death, the only thing we cannot live without is God Himself. That was Yuan’s point. We need nothing but Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Lord. Everything else, including food and shelter, we can live without. We make a mistake in thinking we cannot live without any particular belonging or even relationship, for eventually, we will be without those. Think about it: in death, we won’t need food or water, but we’ll need Jesus. Death separates us from those we love, at least temporarily, but not from Jesus. If we have Jesus, we have everything. All that is left to us is to believe truly that Jesus is enough.


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