"Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."
1 John 5:21
There is so much going on in this chapter that I could write about today, but what struck me the most as I was reading was this last verse. At the end of a letter full of advice, this is the way that John signs off... telling the people to keep themselves away from idols. And it seems like pretty good advice for us as well. Probably very few of the people reading this have a golden calf set up in their homes that they pray to... but unfortunately, idols can be more subtle than that. Anything that we worship or value more than God can be an idol to us. That could be a job, a person, a car, a computer. It could be a drug, or pride, or just an attitude. Anything that gets in the way, that prevents us from giving all that we are to God... from doing all that he asks. Today, let's examine our lives and identify what is influencing us and keeping us from God. ... and then, let's take the advice of this scripture, and keep ourselves far away from whatever it is. Sometimes that thing needs to be eradicated from our lives... and sometimes we just need to readjust the parameters of the interaction. Either way though, while the object, person, or attitude remains an idol to us, we need that distance in order to think clearly and reevaluate our priorities. As Ezra Taft Benson said, if we put God first, then everything else will be able to fall into place, or fall out of our lives.