I’ve said it in sermons and probably even wrote it on this blog a few times:
“Show me your wallet and your calendar and I’ll show you what you treasure”.
I still believe that statement is true. But I also believe that in practice it needs to go a little deeper than seeing what I’ve scribbled onto my Norman Rockwell calendar or where I’ve shelled out my Benjamin Franklin’s (or more precisely my Abe Lincoln’s).
I say that it needs to go a little deeper because I know the things that are on my calendar and the things that are I spend my money on. And I also know the idols that I battle in my life. And the two don’t seem to match up and first glance.
As an example one item that I spend time and money on is the MLB.TV baseball package. I love watching Kansas City Royals baseball (or whatever you call that thing they do while the opponent plays baseball). This is one place where both money and time goes to. Yet, for the most part it is not an idol in my life. At least most of the time. Sometimes I use it as an escape. Occasionally when things around me seem to be spinning out of control I crave locking myself in the basement and just watching the Royals “play”.
If I were to take the time and money test then I could put KC Royals baseball on the list of idols. And if I were feeling uber-spiritual or something I would unplug the television, unsubscribe, stop watching Royals games, and pretend like I had conquered an idol. But in reality its not baseball that is an idol. In actuality, it is trying to find comfort and security outside of Jesus. And those dirty siblings would just pop their little unconquered rebellious heads up in something else.
That’s why I say that though we can begin identifying idols by analyzing where we spend our time and money, it would do us well to ask a few more probing questions once we get beyond the initial look at our time and money.