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Junk it!

Most of us don't think of ourselves as 'idol worshipers', but in reality, we likely have a few we have placed on a pedestal. Lest you think I am suggesting they are the little Buddha dolls, patron saint figurines, or other religious paraphernalia we keep laying around, I am not. Idols are things we elevate to some place of adoration in our lives - even our own ego! The things we hold onto soon have a hold on us, so we might do well to do a little 'inventory' of what we have 'lifted up' in our lives. Even things from our past can be 'idols' we have held onto. What "dead idols" from our past do we need to finally let go of? I think if we look hard enough, we will probably find a few lurking in the back of the recesses of our minds!

Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master's Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don't even have to say anything anymore—you're the message! People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom. (I Thessalonians 1:7-10)

A couple of things come to mind as I posted this passage today. First, word gets around! No matter how hard we try - people talk! We can be doing exemplary work - people talk about how we must be "brown-nosing". We can care less about the task at hand, but are dedicated to another project with even greater demands - people talk about how we never seem to invest ourselves. We can plug away with consistent effort, but it is in quiet and solitude - people talk about how we just never go above and beyond. No matter what we do, people talk! If this is the case, wouldn't it be wise to give them something worth talking about? Lives echoing the Word of God are certainly something worth talking about! It makes people uncomfortable sometimes, but this is because there is conviction in observing a man or woman of God living by what they preach! It is far better the get the reputation of living by the Word than any other reputation we could obtain! The "news of our faith" should attract the attention of those who are looking for a good story!

When our lives are aligned with the Word, they do the preaching! There is more said in one right action than in a thousand words! Look how quickly someone will "pick holes" in our "stated" faith when there is very little to no action which aligns with the statements we are making. I think God calls us to be living examples of the Word - simply because people associate with other people. They need to see the Word "acted out" in order to see how it can impact a life.  "Dead idols" abound. We have things from our pasts - dead idols - taking up valuable room in our memories, tugging at our hearts, and finagling their way into our present day actions, attitudes, and memories. Isn't it time to let go of them once and for all? What is a dead idol? It is something which anchors us to the past, takes our attention away from the one true God, or inhabits our minds with taunting or tempting thoughts of the enjoyment of past sins.

Dead idols need to be deserted - like old cars in a junkyard. The only good purpose they have is in their being destroyed once and for all! They no longer serve us - we no longer serve them! It is time we understood this principle. It is time to let them go. Look up "junk" and you will find it is something regarded as worthless, meaningless, or contemptible. Guess what? The "dead idols" of our past are just worthless junk cluttering up our minds, messing with our emotions, and putting unnecessary temptation in our way today. Junk 'em! In contrast, we are asked to hold one thing before us - God himself. No more "dead idols" which only serve to rob our energies. So, what is it you need to leave in the "junkyard" of the past? It is time! Just sayin!

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