As you may know by now, I have many guilty pleasures. I enjoy movies, sports, video games, etc. But this one might be one of my most embarrassing — I am a big fan of the TV show “American Idol.”
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past decade, you’ve probably heard of it and know the basic premise of the show. Amateur singers take to the stage singing different songs and competing for America’s vote. They also receive praise or criticism from a panel of celebrity judges following each song they perform.
The last one standing at the end of the season gets a bunch of money, a record deal and the title of being the new “American Idol.”
I’ve always been a fan of music so I always find it entertaining listening to new singers perform those songs we all know by heart. Then I like to give my critiques after all the songs just like the judges do. And before I had this job that ties up my weeknights, I got in on the voting part of it too.
As a Christian, the one part of the show that I always found most interesting is the show’s title, “American Idol.”
Like I said, I am a fan of the show and have nothing against it. But the object of the show is to find a new singer/entertainer who we might idolize.
In the Bible, there are these rules you also may have heard of called “The Ten Commandments.”
Commandment No. 2 tells us to “not make unto thee any graven image” — in other words, an idol.
I’m not suggesting American Idol fans actually make idols of these young singers, but it does get me thinking about the idols we actually do make.
Back in the Biblical days, people made idols like golden calves and worshipped them like a god. These activities were a basis for that commandment being included on the list.
Fast forward to 2013, people really aren’t worshipping golden calves anymore — at least no one I know. But what we have now are new things to idolize.
Famous entertainers, superstar athletes, and possessions like fancy cars, big screen TV’s and iPhones are our new idols.
Now I’m not saying we get down on our hands and knees and pray to Justin Bieber or our brand new electronic, but if you place something or someone above God, then that object is an idol.
What do we spend more time doing each day? Using our iPhones to update our Facebook statuses, or reading our Bibles to upgrade our Book of Life statuses?
What do we look forward to doing more? Spending our Sundays at church, or spending our Sundays out on our boats?
Which do we remember the most? The points Lebron James scored last week, or the points the preacher made this morning?
If you have more of a concern for these things, then they are your god and idol. Spending time with the Lord is just an activity you might do in spare time when you’re bored.
Back in my college days when I was hanging out at my friend Tyler’s house, his mother mentioned something in conversation that I always keep in mind when considering what my priorities might be.
We were talking about how convenient and great it was having a DVR unit for our TV in our campus apartment. I asked his mother if they ever thought about getting a DVR unit installed at her house.
She said she definitely had considered it but was afraid if she had it installed that she might never leave the TV screen.
That comment was nothing profound but it immediately made me reflect on all the worldly things that I cared about more than spending time with God.
Isaiah 46:6-7 says, “Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh out silver in the scales, hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; then they fall down and worship! They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it, they set it in its place, and it stands there; it cannot move from its place. If one cries to it, it does not answer or save him from his trouble.”
Many things the world has to offer are nice and fun and convenient, but the Lord is going to be there when you need someone to turn to. Not a luxury vehicle, not a TV show, not an iPhone.
So rather than spend all our time seeking American Idols, we should be spending our time seeking God.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org