Common Sense Christian

The Thinking Christian’s Site

Daily Devotional – May 10


I have a relative who is obsessed with working out.  He tries to get to the gym before and after work.  His distraught wife mentioned to me that when he is at home he spends most of his time planning meals out to the calorie and doing sit-ups and push-ups. 

This is nothing new for “Tom”, before this latest fad, he had to make it to every Clemson game, whether it was baseball, basketball or football–everything was secondary to either being at the game or watching the game. 

Before that, it was something else.

Tom has a lovely son.   “Sam” is an energetic 6 year old who worships the ground his father walks on.  Sam was known to wait at the front window of their home for daddy to get home so that they could go outside and play ball.   Sam no longer waits by the window and is usually in his room when Tom gets home–and stays there with his toys and games for the bulk of the evening–ignored.

Tom knows the Lord, but doesn’t particularly hang out with him.  He has a spiritual void in his life that almost requires him to dash from one entertainment or involvement to another, seeking solace in things that really don’t matter.  

Tom’s problem is idolatry.

Idolatry is one of the most common failings of Christians.  It is when anything but God occupies the number one spot in our lives.    The apostle Paul knew what devastation idolatry brings and what superficial emptiness it leaves us with so he told us not just to avoid it, he told us to turn tail and run wildly away from it:

1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 

Placing God back in the number one spot in our life brings everything back to a natural balance–a place where we are still able to comfortably do the things we enjoy, but accompanied by the peace and contentment that only a God-filled existence can provide. 

(Got an obsession?  Want to share?)


May 10, 2007 - Posted by | Daily Devotional


  1. wow! This one hit me between the eyes. I place almost anything at one time or another in the center of my life from “positive” obsessions like health and fitness to negative obsessions like how I have been “victimized” at one time or another. I hate the latter the most. I mean the obsession or idol worship of it – it yields a whiny bitter ellen. The other is just as bad and I masked it for a long while in the veil of taking care of God’s temple. But the obsession has detracted from God. Thanks for this wake up call.

    Comment by Ellen | May 10, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hi Ellen!

    I can’t count how many times in my own life I have been out of “alignment” with Christ–always my own fault, and most of the time I knew better.

    Phil 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

    Peace that passeth understanding: a peace that shouldn’t be there given the circumstances, but is there in spite of the circumstances.

    Praying for you!


    Comment by bereans | May 10, 2007 | Reply

  3. Ouch, I can relate to Tom. I am really good at isolating away from God. Filling my mind with junk. Why do we do this? When I am connected it is the greatest feeling ever. An addiction. Why do we turn it off?


    Comment by Larry | May 10, 2007 | Reply

  4. Hi Larry!

    I hate to say this, but it is a natural part of growing spiritually. Remember when you were growing up as a child when your parents would tell you not to do something but you would do it anyway–even when it hurt you? It is a part of our old nature to pull gratify ourselves and pull away from the new nature or spirit that God has put within us.

    Failure is a part of of growing, and the worse thing we can do is allow it to defeat us and keep us down.

    The really neat thing about you and Ellen is that you recognize what the problem may be and where to find the solution. Poor Tom lives a life of emptiness and constant defeat–always in a headlong rush to find something that will fill the emptiness within.

    Keep in mind that there are many things that we can and are supposed to enjoy as Christians. Ellen lost weight which is tremendously beneficial to her health and how she feels. There is nothing wrong with that, but if one puts Christ on the backburner and focuses exclusively on that, then it becomes idolatry in our lives. We can enjoy God’s many blessings, and still remain centered in him!


    Comment by bereans | May 11, 2007 | Reply

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