Since the last few days, we do not have cable TV at home, because the service provider has stopped broadcasting to our building. They used our electricity for free for 20 years. Now when we are asking them to pay up, they cut off our cable TV connection. What peace rules our home these days!
Generally speaking, I only look at TV – others watch it 🙂 But have you observed that the moment you turn on the television, all of a sudden, everyone’s attention shifts to that magnetic box? People are glued to their seats and watch with rapt attention as if swami-ji (colloquial for a religious guru) is delivering an important spiritual discourse! I have even caught people (and myself too, I must confess) staring at the TV even when there is a blackout – an interruption in the broadcast – or when the channels are not loading and the screen is blue. Such is the magnetic power of television – if you give it power.
When that happens, it might just be that the TV has become your idol – your god that is not a god. TV is just one example. Some other things that could have become your god, are mobile phones, tabs, computers, cars, bikes, food, work (Oh yes), tobacco, cigarettes, alcohol, the ideal body figure or target weight… Here are some indicators to help you decide if something is on its way to becoming your idol/god:
- Do you look at it (e.g. a mobile screen) more than you look at your spouse, or baby’s frolicking face?
- If a Bible were lying next to it, what would you pick up – that thing or the Bible?
- Do you feel compelled to use that thing more, even though you know you used it enough and any more is just a waste of time?
- Do you constantly think about it when not at work?
- Do you feel lukewarm towards the things of God?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, it is likely that you are giving the TV or whatever it is, the status of a god or idol. Television, food, gadgets…these are just tools. They are just a means to achieving an end, not an end in themselves. And they can benefit you only if consumed in line with the Word of God, not instead of the Word of God. Maybe I am preaching this to myself too as I write. Let us all recognize that the world as such has nothing to offer to us. Like an uncle of mine once said, “The world is bankrupt.” Better to realize now and give it only so much attention as it deserves, and not a bit more. Let us give God the place He deserves in our lives and show tools the place they have in our lives.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”