Healthy Habits

Made for Something More

We can realign our priorities and replace our earthly objects of affection with the only proper object of religious worship, our Creator, Preserver and Governor of all things: God and God alone. by Major Rob Reardon
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I was once told that you could identify what was important in your life by simply looking at your checkbook. Seeing where you spend your money indicates where your priorities lie. Taking that one step further, an inventory of how you spend your time can also point you in the direction of what you value the most.

Aside from weekly groceries, if you’re spending a considerable amount of money eating at restaurants each week, then perhaps it is safe to say that you place a high value on the consumption of food. Or, maybe after paying your bills, the money you spend on going to movies is high on the list of expenditures. That would seem to indicate that a high value is placed on entertaining yourself each week. In comparison, how much of your hard-earned money is given to charity or church? Does this help you understand where your heart is?

In Matthew 6:21, Jesus says, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Our hearts inevitably follow that which we treasure. It’s human nature.

What if I told you that it’s also human nature to worship … or at least it should be? The word “worship” is derived from an old English word weorth, meaning worthy or honorable. The suffix, “-ship”, simply means the state of whatever comes before. Essentially, “worship” literally means, “the state of being worthy.” What we value or prioritize in our lives becomes the object of our affection, and sometimes the focus of our worship.

Beyond our spending habits, it’s easy to see what or who attracts the affection of people. Whether it is an athlete or entertainer, a favorite vacation destination or activity, with some honest introspection it is possible to identify what or who it is we worship.

The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” The response: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” The Salvation Army’s second doctrine states “that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.”

When God created humans, we were created “… in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). The unfortunate reality is that because of original sin, Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the garden, our imago Dei has been tarnished, and the intimate connection with our Creator was broken. That brokenness has given opportunity for practically everything and everyone to compete for the top spot in our list of things to worship.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “How do my spending or entertainment habits have anything to do with how I worship on a Sunday morning?” The short answer would be that worship is far more than the songs we sing at church or whether we raise our hands while we’re singing them. Worship encompasses all that we do and everything we are. We read in 1 Corinthians 10:31, that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 

The problem occurs when we begin to segment our lives—we act a certain way in one setting and another way when we’re somewhere else. Can you see why that might be an issue? Most of us will probably spend 90 to 120 minutes a week in church, whereas we will work or go to school for upwards of 2,400 minutes each week, and if the data is correct, more than 1,000 minutes on social media and more than 1,500 minutes watching television in one form or another. How many of those minutes are dedicated to the glory of God? In other words, how much of that time is giving God the worth He is due—worship?

A familiar biblical story concerning this is found in Exodus 32 when human nature takes over God’s chosen people in the form of a golden calf. When Moses was taking too long to return from his expedition to receive the Ten Commandments, the Israelites begged Aaron to fashion a new god for them to worship. This new god came from the gold they melted down from their golden jewelry. Their desire to worship wasn’t taken away, but the object of their affection, or attention, was replaced.

In the Book of Romans, Paul explains our fallen human nature like this: 

“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles … They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise!”

(Romans 1:20–23, 25)

So, as human beings we were created in the image of God, and although that image has been tarnished and broken, the capacity remains in us to ascribe worth to our Creator—we can worship God in all His glory and grace, thereby activating the ancient and life-changing connection that we’re all searching for. We can realign our priorities and replace our earthly objects of affection with the only proper object of religious worship, our Creator, Preserver and Governor of all things: God and God alone.

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