Our church has an interim pastor who started on February 13. He started a series on idols - interesting to begin at a new church. It made me start thinking about the image I show to the world. What image do I convey to the world? Does that image mean so much that I would not be willing to give it up? If so - it is an idol in my life that I bow down to worship. I would never say that I would worship an idol - God's Word tells me not to worship any images but only Him. But - when I put a mask on my face and feelings and expressions to show the world someone other than the person God made - that is an idol of image! That thought had never really occurred to me until the sermon.
I started meeting with a couple of other women a year or so ago. In the very beginning - I expressed that I didn't want to have to wear a mask. I think in my old age I've realized that the thoughts of others should not determine how I live my life. Comparison is another form of image idolization. Comparing myself to others always brings out their strengths and points out my own weaknesses. That type of image making is just as destructive as believing lies told to us throughout our lives about who or what we are.
The story is told in Acts at the end of chapter 4 and the beginning of chapter 5. Barnabus is introduced at the end of chapter 4 in a story of the sale of a piece of property he owned and bringing the proceeds to the church to support the needs of others. He brought the full price simply because of the change Jesus Christ brought to him when he had a personal enounter with Jesus. That encounter completely changed his life and he desired to do what was needed to help the church.
In the beginning of chapter 5, Ananias and Saphira are introduced. Their story is that they also sold a possession (which we learn later is a piece of property). They brought the proceeds to the church and told the church leaders they had brought the full price. The image they wanted to convey is that they were the same type of person as Barnabus. Unfortunately - it was just an image and the image was more important to them than the truth. The truth was that greed (or some other motive) caused them to lie about the amount of the proceeds. They were certainly not required to bring the full price and could give whatever portion they felt lead to give. However they chose to only give a portion but state they were bringing the full amount. Their image was not their true character as they lied about the amount of the sale and the donation to the church.
When the image we show to the world is more important than the truth - when the image we show is more important than anything else - that's when the image has become an idol. God's Word tells us whose image we are to reflect - the image of Jesus Christ is the only image that we as a Christian are to show.
I cannot imagine anything or anyone any better to reflect!