first

I had an encounter with a parishioner at a former church after a message that I won’t forget. As I greeting those who attended that morning a woman came through and said, “You were stepping on some toes this morning with your message- gently, but just enough to get my attention. I needed that.”

Yesterday’s message likely stepped on a few toes. Hopefully with care. Of course, the biggest toe that was stepped on was my own!

In yesterday’s message, we sought to name the idols that we have in our lives that we put a priority on over our relationship with God. Mike Slaughter, in Shiny gods, writes that an idol is “anything, or anyone, that receives the primary focus of my energy or resources that first should belong to God.” Using that definition, we can quickly come up with several, if not many, potential idols: money, careers, success, alcohol/drugs, TV, Sports, relationships, and the list could go on.

My big idol confession- technology. I am connected in so many ways to my computer, iPad, and iPhone. It tempts me to waste away my time doing things that do not amount to anything personally or spiritually. (There is great irony that I write this confession on a computer connected to the internet.) Let me be clear, I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong or evil with technology- but when it receives the primary focus of my time and resources, it becomes a real issue (and that doesn’t get into “what” we use/look at on the computer!)

As a father, the last thing I want is to become “that” parent. You know the one- at the park with their kid on the swing or slide while they sit on the bench looking at their phone rather than engaging in building an even better relationship with their children. Or to be “that” Christian who spends all their time finding articles, stories, and music on the internet that can inspire a deeper faith in God without actually spending time with God.

As a Christian, my relationship with God must come first- before all other things. When I put God first, my life prioritizes around what is primary. I need to consistently ask myself whether or not I am putting God first in my life or something else.

What idols do you struggle with? How do you keep God first on a daily basis?

About Steve LaMotte

Husband and father of three amazing children. Campus Minister of Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. Pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Dover, Delaware. Elder in the Pen-Del Conference. Fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers. Lover of music that makes hipsters cringe.
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