Idolatry vs. the Dollar Tree

We were in the car driving home from preschool when my four-year old, David, asked me if it is ok to say “Holy cow!” or not.

“Do you know where that saying comes from?” I asked.

“No.”

“Well, do you remember when Moses went up Mount Sinai and God gave him the Ten Commandments?”

“Oh, yes!”

“Do you remember that Aaron made a golden calf and the people worshipped it?”

“Oh, yes, yes, yes!  That’s idolatry and idolatry is very, very bad.  BUT, The Dollar Tree is very, very good, right Mommy?”

I would never have made that connection, but I suppose that is pretty good logic for a preschooler.  Webster defines idolatry as “the worship of a physical object as a god, or the immoderate attachment or devotion to something.”  Now, in our Christian communities, it is unthinkable that we might literally bow before some idol made of wood, stone, or precious metal.  However, is it possible that we wander into dangerous territory by our excessive devotion to something that may be very “good”?  Stewardship is an important biblical principle. Living on a tight budget, we have a great appreciation for The Dollar Tree. Making wise financial decisions is very good, but is it possible that my focus can be subtly shifted from the Giver of all good things, onto His gifts (or my management of them)?

I am reminded of the old hymn, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.  Prone to leave the God I love.  Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it.  Seal it for Thy courts above.

Lord, whenever I wander into the dangerous territory of immoderate attachment or excessive devotion to any “good thing,” have mercy.  Quickly bring my focus back to You.  Guard my heart, and let my greatest and deepest affections be for You alone.

– Kim Calderon, CTCI Staff Member

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