The other day as we were driving through the Thracian valley in the middle of Bulgaria in the most furtile parts of the country, I was talking and the answer just came out of my mouth. I was talking about how we as humans put value on things. Earthly things only are valuable in regards to how much value we place on it. If we pay alot for something, we deem it valuable. If it is a family heirloom, we may value it. This is why we love to watch shows like "Antique Roadshow", because we see value in things we may not have valued before.
We, as humans, have this power of value that we can place onto things and also onto other people (or lack of value, however).
It causes me to think about the things and people that I value in my life. As far as people go, of course, my faith, my family (my husband and our four AMAZING kids) and friends are the most valuable to me. People I would die for...
As far as things/possessions, well, I've already let go of most things I valued already (like the Keiurig coffee maker and the Dyson vacuum cleaner). You might say my laptop or some other thing of monetary value might rank at the top, but I really would say my Bible. I know, how cliche, a missionary loves her Bible....but I really do. It is the most valuable thing to me...I really like it. I lost it (or left it at the mission house we were staying at in the hustle and bustle of moving) and had to begin in a new Bible. I like it ok, but the team brought mine back to me last week. I liked the Dukes and the hot sauce, even the M & Ms, and the beef jerky they brought to us, but my Bible was back home with me.
Anyway, back to idols and the value we put on things.
This was just my assessment of the things I value. We should all ask ourselves, what we value most...
I believe an idol becomes anything that we OVERvalue. The idols of the Old Testament were old skulls put on a mantle and worshipped. Graven images that became as gods. They took ordinary things and overvalued them. Made them worth more than they really were.
What have you overvalued? If everyone else says, that's not really worth much, but in your eyes it's worth more than money could buy, has it become an idol to you?
Can you not sell your house because you have overvalued it? Can you not let go of something because it is worth too much to you? Has it then become an idol? This, for me, is now my "idol test". Have I OVERvalued an object, a person, or even a tradition?