11 March 2013

Guaranteed weight loss

William Temple once compared British society to a shop window. Someone had changed around the price tags of the items on display. Things of little worth were dear. Things of great worth were cheap. Like 'looks' were priced higher than character, entertainment higher than lifetime achievement, self-fulfilment higher than self-sacrifice, popularity higher than integrity, and so on.

Usually, we give the greatest part of our life and energy to the things we value most highly. The trouble is if the things we value most highly are actually pretty worthless, then our lives amount to very little indeed.

The Bible teaches that anyone or anything I devote my life to, in place of the living God, is an idol. The problem with idols is that they promise much in this life but deliver nothing of lasting value for the world to come. The happiness they promise, the security they promise, the life they promise is so short-lived. In the end, we gain nothing from them.

Psalm 115 verse 8 says, '..those who worship idols become like them.' If I bow down to emptiness, then I myself will become empty.

If I worship something that is lightweight then I, too, will become weightless. I may become heavyweight physically, but I'll become weightless spiritually. Devoting my life to idols instead of the living God is the guarantee to weight loss. In the end, I become like them – nothing.

Psalm 119 verse 37 says, 'Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things and give me life in your ways.' Real, substantial, everlasting, joy-filled life is found in following the ways of God. That means following the instructions found in God's word. His instructions teach us the way to live lives that amount to something of infinite and everlasting worth. It means following the way of Christ, who is 'the way, the truth and the life.'

It comes down to this. Am I going to delight myself in God and his word, or delight myself in the world? Shall I worship Christ and become like him, or worship idols and become like them?

Simon Smallwood - Pastor