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Is something in your life becoming an idol?

By Todd Barrier 

I love college football.  

My dad loved Alabama football so much he named me after a quarterbackRichard Todd, and my brother after The BearPaul Bryant. We used to go to all of the games growing up. I think over the past 33 years, I’ve been to 120-130 Alabama games.  

I remember how obsessed I used to be – “used to, ha! – with the games. A loss would crush me for days. The media guide would come once per year with our tickets, and I would go over it with a finetooth comb every year.  

There wasn’t anything I knew more than Alabama football.  

I graduated from Alabama in 1999, and with the added title of alumnus, I thought I was hot stuff.  

I still love Bama football, and I still get crushed – for a bit – after a loss. However, something has changed for me that brought the word “idols” to the forefront of my life.  

I was in a Bible class learning how to teach or get better at speaking in public. It was my week to give a two- to three-minute “speech. I don’t remember exactly what the subject was, other than Jesus.  

After class, I found myself discussing football with a Notre Dame fan. I was spouting off statistics and names from Alabama football like no one’s business. Then it hit me: I knew more about my favorite pastime than I did my Savior!  

Bama football had become like an idol to me.  

I’ve made an effort ever since to learn more about the Bible than any other subject. The world offers us great and wonderful pastimes and hobbies but only offers us one eternal pastime, and we can only understand it and get there through the knowledge of His Word!  

We should enjoy the things God has given us here but not be obsessed with them. 1 John 5:21 says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” We have recognized these idols to keep ourselves from them, so be on the lookout for anything that replaces a love for God’s Word in your life. Romans 1:21-23 says, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 

When earthly things become our obsession, we don’t honor God like we should, and it puts our relationship with Him in jeopardy.  

So let’s enjoy the football season but not let it become like an idol that guides our lives!  

Is there something in your life that is becoming an idol?