June 6

Written by Bill Grandi on June 6th, 2023

Do you remember a game called “Word Association?” Well…in case that was before your time…the game is played with someone saying a word and the other person(s) saying the first word that comes to mind. Charades is sort of this on steroids.

So…I’m going to give you a word and you write down in your mind or on paper the first word that comes to mind. Ready?


What word came to your mind? Statue? Religion? Carving? Ritual? Special place? Or maybe you thought of a specific one.

I’m guessing most of us would think statue or carving.  And we would think of some religion or tribe somewhere that would have a stone or wood statue. Or we may think of someone who has a place set up on a home.

But let me push you beyond that. The Bible explicitly states, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex.20:3) It continues by saying, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image” and “You shall not bow down to worship them.” (Ex.20:4-5). Can’t get much plainer than that.

We wipe our hand across our forehead and say, “Whew! I dodged that bullet!”


An idol does not have to be a physical statue that we give homage to. An idol can be anything-ANYTHING-that garners our attention and affection. I have a 2-wheeled beast (a bicycle not the motorized kind) that has garnered a lot of miles and a lot of my attention over the years. Too much sometimes.  No, I didn’t bow down and kiss it. But I can guarantee I have put off some things and allowed it to have way too much of my thoughts and way TOO much importance in my heart at times. You might be thinking, “Well, Bill, how could you direct so much of your attention to an inanimate object?” I rest my case on what an idol is.

You see…God will not stand for 2nd (or 3rd or 4th or…) place in my life. Or yours. He wants to be #1. He wants to be the boss. He wants to be the object of our adoration and worship. An idol is anything that seeks to usurp God’s rightful place of importance in my life…and yours.

What about you? What or WHO is #1?


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Every day, we should do a heart-check, Bill. Who, or what, takes first place in our lives? If it isn’t God, we have some ‘splainin’ to do!

  2. gail says:

    Idols can certainly creep up on us, I agree with Martha, we have to have a heart check everyday to make sure God is first. It is so easy to say God is first, but we need to ask ourselves, how often do we check in with God throughout the day? How often do we put off praying, reading the Bible, sitting still for God, to do something else we have put first, aka idols? Is God our first consultant in every decision, do we ask God, what is Your will, or do we make our own decisions and choices and wonder why God isn’t on board? I have held on to many idols, put many things ahead of God, I have put God on hold way to many times. I need to constantly remind myself, who God is, ask God the difficult question, what or who have I put before You? Asking for conviction of our own hearts, holding ourselves responsible for the idols that we have. The book of James is a short book, but one that will get you back in alignment with God quickly, and turn your excuses to dust.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Totally agree Gail, especially on the part of putting off praying, reading, etc to do something else. It is so easy to do and so typical of many (including myself). And I have to agree with you on the book of James.

      • Ryan S says:

        What is interesting is that God does not NEED anything from me or anyone else for that matter. The beneficiary to a heart given fully to God is 100% in my favor. When my desires are on anything else, I will be left disappointed and always wanting more and will NEVER be fulfilled. The law meant for highlighting our inability to reach God on our own is now a reminder of God’s perfect grace and desire to give to us what is best for us.

        • Bill Grandi says:

          That is so true Ryan. What always makes me sigh is those who think they are doing God a favor by being one of His followers. It’s like they forget their humility and need for Him to work through them.

  3. Cheryl says:

    This is so true, Pastor Bill. It is so strange how something can morph into an idol in our lives without us even realizing it. A “good” thing can become an idol if we love it more than we love God. I appreciate this gentle reminder today.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Cheryl. A good thing can become a bad thing if we give it too much attention.