It was my turn to set the challenge for the SALT team this week and I picked a doosey! (I confess that I enjoy diving deep into Scripture and being challenged with difficult topics, ideas, and beliefs.) So with that intro...I give you the topic, "Keep Yourself from Idols." Here's my write up from the SALT blog: I John 5:21, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." The idea for this week's challenge came to me by way of a short blurb from a church bulletin, titled "Me, Worship Idols?" The paragraph in the bulletin was from a book by Ed Welch, The Journal of Biblical Counseling in a section that deals with addictions. (I want to note that although this section from Mr. Welch's book is dealing with addictions, my goal is to focus more on how we create idols of the heart that may not be as outwardly noticeable). "One of the most common portrayals of the human condition, and one which captures both the in-control and out-of-control experiences of addictions, is the theme of idolatry. From this perspective, the true nature of all addictions is that we have chosen to go outside the boundaries of the kingdom of God and look for blessing in the land of idols. In turning to idols, we are saying that we desire something in creation more than we desire the Creator. This sounds like strange language to Western ears, but idolatry is perhaps the most dominant image in Scripture and it abounds in potential applications. Did you ever notice how many Biblical stories could be summarized with these questions? Who will you worship? The Creator or the created thing? God or man? The Divine King or worthless idols? The basic story line of the Old Testament is about people who find idolatry irresistible. Then God, ultimately through Jesus, comes to rescue His people out of their enslaving practices." One of the things that struck me from this writing is that I too frequently struggle with idolizing my work, keeping a schedule, or something I deem, based on my actions, as more important than Christ. When I get very busy, I have a tendency to have a "just a minute" attitude towards God. Thinking, "I'll pray and read just as soon as I finish this thing" and of course more and more things come into my day but I too often fail to make time to spend with God. And isn't that a form of idolatry? It reminds me of the text in Matthew 26:16, "for what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his sown soul." At the end of the day, although God, through His providence, may bring many distractions into our lives, is anything as important as Christ? The good, or should I say great news, is that Christ came into the world to break the power of sin, to enable us to do those things that we're unable to do on our own, if we would simply seek Him in repentance and faith. If you feel lead to create something based on this week's topic, please leave us a comment on the SALT blog with a link back to your blog or gallery. We'd love to share in your creation!! Card details: Stamped images from Sweet 'n Sassy and paper from Bo Bunny, found at Wholly Scrap.