Yesterday, Pope Francis’s message to the new ambassadors of the Church to Kyrgyzstan, Antigua and Barbuda, Luxembourg, and Botswana centered on money, and the role it plays in the economic crisis that is sweeping across the globe. At one point of his message, he compared the people’s attachment to and obsession of money as the new form of the ancient worship the golden calf–an act of the people of Israel in olden times that angered God so much.
Idolatry is a sin. We know this for a fact as the Lord clearly states in his 10 commandments, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” However, the problem is, a lot of people these days commit the sin of idolatry without even knowing it. Why? Because they hold this notion that “idolatry” simply means believing and worshiping someone else other than God.
While idolatry in the Old Testament primarily deals with worship of graven images of sticks and stones, there are many forms of idolatry today. Money is a modern day golden calf. People have become so obsessed with it, that I really do believe it is an idol. So how do we know if we are committing the sin of idolatry? Well, I believe that anything that takes away our devotion to God is an idol.
Take this passage from the Bible as an inspiration:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
If you want to read the message of Pope Francis that I mentioned above, here it is: ‘Money Has To Serve, Not Rule!’ Money is the a modern day golden calf, and that was the point of this post. However other things can certainly play the golden calf role as well. Be careful about your priorities.