Romans 1 21-23
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Honouring God, and being grateful to him is a safeguard against our thinking becoming futile (useless, pointless, senseless) and our hearts becoming darkened and foolish. (See more on this idea–how intelligent people can become stupid.)
If we do not thank God, we are focusing on just part of the picture, not the whole thing. Focusing on the minor patches of bleakness alone. It can lead to out “thinking becoming futile, and our foolish hearts darkened. Though claiming to be wise, we can become fools.”
Trying to keep our focus on the glory and wonder of God saves us from idolatry–worshiping and focusing on idols: things which are trivial, non-life-giving, and cruelly demanding of ever more attention and energy and devotion.
So What Are Your Idols?
1. What do I worry about most?
2. What, if I failed or lost it, would cause me to feel that I did not even want to live?
3. What do I use to comfort myself when things go bad or get difficult?
4. What do I do to cope? What are my release valves? What do I do to feel better?
5. What preoccupies me? What do I daydream about?
6. What makes me feel the most self-worth? Of what am I the proudest? For what do I want to be known?
7. What do I lead with in conversations?
8. Early on what do I want to make sure that people know about me?
9. What prayer, unanswered, would make me seriously think about turning away from God?
10. What do I really want and expect out of life? What would really make me happy?
11. What is my hope for the future?
Ouch, they hit close to the bone, don’t they?
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Blogging through Romans is one of the interesting projects I’ve embarked on. I love it, love Paul’s thinking. The Gospels are like a primary text. A child can understand them.
Christ, and the Holy Spirit fill the hollowness at the heart of all things, and bind the beads of our lives into a beautiful necklace.
Or in Dante’s metaphor, Love binds the scattered leaves of the universe into a single book.