“Perhaps $75,000 is a threshold beyond which further increases in income no longer improve individuals’ ability to do what matters most to their emotional well-being, such as spending time with people they like, avoiding pain and disease, and enjoying leisure.”
Helpful article from Tim Challies on the way in which “communication” dominates so much of our life.
Idols are typically good things that seek to become ultimate things. Communication is just the kind of good thing, the kind of very good thing, that can so easily become an ultimate thing. How would we know that there is an idol in our lives? It may be the kind of thing we look at right before we go to sleep and the first thing we give attention to when we wake up. It may be the kind of thing that keeps us awake even in the middle of the night.
By all appearances we have made communication into a kind of cultural idol. In most cases it is not Facebook or the cell phone that is the idol. Instead, they serve as enablers, as enhancers, of the greater idol of communication. Christians have proven to be far from immune to this idol, from following along as the culture around us becomes obsessed with communication and dedicates vast amounts of time and resources to it. Christians will do well to remember that in God’s economy communication is but a means to the far greater, far more noble end of enjoying God so we can bring glory to him. Communication can detract from this purpose just as easily as it can serve this purpose.
A couple of days ago ABC News published a story called “Looking for a New Religion? Apple Gives Dose of the Divine.” While our immediate reaction might be that it is absurd, I think there is a lot of truth in it. There are many that worship at the Church of Apple. How many people anxiously awaited their new iPhone 4?
But this does not just apply to Apple (though they may have more devoted followers than most). I think that our technology can easily and very quickly becomes idols that we worship. Technology is a good thing . . . something created by the image-bearers of the the great Creator as they imitate Him. What we do with it is the problem. These items quickly grab the affections of our hearts.
If we want to identify our idols, we can ask ourselves some very simple diagnostic questions.
What makes you angry?
What frustrates you?
What depresses you?
What brings you the most happiness?
If you have answered these questions, you have likely found some of the idols of your heart.
For instance, just yesterday I was driving to a meeting in a neighboring city. For about 10-12 of the miles I was stuck behind two trucks carrying the two halves of a modular home. They took up both lanes and made it impossible to pass.
I must admit two things: they were actually doing a good job of keeping up with the speed limit and according to my GPS I would easily make it to my meeting on time.
So how did I respond? I got frustrated that I could not get around these trucks. I was irritated and sulking for that entire 10-12 miles. Why was I so upset? My idols were at work. Which one? Take your pick . . . but maybe my control idol. Particularly when I am driving I enjoy the control that I have . . . I am the king of the road. That is why I do not like people driving slow in the left lane. (It’s for passing right?) When my ability to control a situation is taken away, suddenly I am frustrated and begin to get angry.
Why do we . . . no take that back . . . why do I so easily find my life so easily upset? My heart is an Idol Factory.