I. Dal. A. Try.
We all have our pronunciation preferences, which are as numerous as the idols to which we cling. Silver. Sleep. Self. Sex. Spaghetti. Significant other. Social media. Everyone has at least one idol. If you belong to the homo sapiens species, this includes you.
I realize that none of you have a golden calf stashed away in your closet that you passionately beg to bring healing or a passing grade. If you do, we need to talk. That is no way to treat a cow. The Christians of the New Testament chose the Greek word eidolon to describe the object of worship of anything besides God. Eidolon means phantom, shadow, likeness, etc. Idolatry is worshipping an object or living being that is merely a dark, desperate shadow of the most glorious, radiant and praiseworthy Being in the universe.
Whatever we invest the majority of our time, thoughts, energy and money into is the center of our worship, pleasure, devotion. What we worship is who we are; we adopt the characteristics of what we value the most. If the focus of our worship (identity) was stolen from us, we would be devastated. An insatiable void for comfort and peace would immediately open beneath our feet. The flame of life would be quenched of all desire and purpose.
Ultimately, we can only have one idol. Worship of money is greed, a desire to obtain objects and/or power for yourself. Bowing down to the praise of others (temporarily) satisfies your craving to be loved. Excessively stuffing your face with food can be a selfish attempt to please your tastebuds or alleviate stress. A slavish devotion to another person tries to fill our need to be needed. Our only options are to worship God or ourselves. Money, food, and relationships (and a host of other things listed in Colossians 3:5-8) are merely tools we attempt to utilize to satisfy our deepest desires for joy and peace.
The glaring obstacle we face in worshipping ourselves is the fragility and fickleness of our tools of fulfillment. The value of money is fluid. Its substance is perfect fuel for fire, but not for the soul. A gallon of milk can curdle. It can only fill a few glasses. But never the soul. I am not the same as a year ago, or even yesterday. I’m imperfect. I can make a mess of things and empty them onto the ground, just like your soul. God is omnipotent, faithfully loving and unchanging, perfect for your soul.