2005-04-27 - You Are What you Worship
Originally Published 2001-01-12
A friend of mine offered me some wild boar that he had recently bagged on a hunting trip. I politely declined his offer. Then he informed me that the boar was farm-raised on a diet of peanuts. This diet made the boar an exceptional delicacy. Then with all seriousness he said, "you know, you are what you eat." To which I replied, "well if I eat the boar, I guess I will be a nutty pig!"
My family went to church every Sunday when I was growing up, and a few sermons actually stuck with me over the years. It's funny how at 10 years old, they made no sense, but at 40, I think maybe the preacher was onto something. I remember one particular sermon where the pastor was admonishing the congregation for not coming to church every Sunday; he said that whatever you did on Sunday other than going to church was what you worshipped. As a kid I just tucked that away in my mind and thought "gee, that makes some sense, but seems a bit extreme to me. "
Recently while I was reading the Bible, that sermon from my childhood came back to me in an interesting way. I thought, "we are what we worship; we become what we worship." For example, some people worship crystals, stone or rocks. These items are cold, hard and impersonal. In my opinion, someone who worships a crystal or rock may have a tendency to become cold and impersonal. A businessman like myself may worship work. This could lead to a personality that ebbs and flows with how well or how bad business is going. When the sales are up, the mood is up. When sales are down, the mood is down. Nothing is consistent. I even know a few people who are depressed when the stock market is down and exuberant when it is up! I am sure you can think of other examples.
We Christ-followers claim to worship Christ, Who is God. And what is God? The Bible tells us that God is Love.
1 John 4:8 (NIV) Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
When we worship Christ, we are striving to become like Christ. We never reach that goal, but hopefully we continue to grow in our faith, minute by minute, on this path. The following very-familiar passage will wrap all this up for us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
To me, this passage is a perfect description of Christ. Christ is patient, Christ is kind. Christ does not envy, Christ does not boast, Christ is not proud. Christ is not rude, Christ is not self-seeking, Christ is not easily angered, Christ keeps no record of wrongs. Christ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
If I am what I worship and I worship Christ, then I believe should be able to insert my name where I have inserted Christ's name: David is patient, David is kind, etc.
You are what you worship. What are you worshipping today?
Father, forgive us for worship worldly things. Forgive us when we worship creation and not You the creator. Forgive us for not striving to worship only You. Help us to become more and more like the perfect example You sent for us to follow, Your son Jesus Christ. In His name, Amen.