“Little Children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21 NRSV
Idols are everywhere in today’s society from the obvious to the not so obvious, that it is really hard not to have idols. In striving to keep away from idols it is important to remember that they are not just objects but can be people as well. Idols are anything or anyone that becomes a focus of “worship” but not truly loved or appreciated for what the item or person really is.
We see idols in pretty much every aspect of our lives, around us from the products we buy in stores to celebrities and unfortunately even politicians. With so many examples of idols around us all the time, our lives are just saturated by them; it is very difficult to stay away from them. How do we keep away from idols when we have so many in our lives?
We keep away from idols by focusing on the real things in life. For the reason why idols are to be avoided in the first place is because they are all things fake in the world. They offer only temporary happiness and joy. So the key to avoiding idols and the pitfalls associated with them is to focus on what is real in your life, on family, friends, loved ones, and especially God.
When we do this, when we focus on what is real in our lives, we are less tempted to go towards the idols surrounding us, because we are more fulfilled in our happiness, which does not end. My time spent with my family is something that always fills me with so much happiness that can never come close to anything I may buy. It is only through real things in one’s life such as family and God that one can find true happiness. With idols the only happiness that one gets is hollow, fleeting, and only causes you to seek out more, but not with things that are real.
Focus on that which is real in your life, no matter what that is, be it God, family, friends, or all of the above. Stay away from fake idols of life.