A couple of years ago, Facebook declared Celebrity Lookalike Month. It was fun to see people post photos of celebrities that they (often slightly!) resembled. For some of us (me!) the resemblance was a long time ago.
Be careful whom you choose to admire, because we become like those we idolize. Even Scripture warns, "A student will become like his teachers."
In every society, people become like that which they reverence. It has been said that "we are a sum total of all our loves." In primitive cultures, people still live in constant fear of the gods of their own making. They fear the sun god, the moon god, the river gods, and they offer sacrifices of everything they have in an attempt to appease these imaginary deities.
The Muslims worship their god, Allah, and view him as vengeful god of wrath, determined to obliterate all unbelievers. As can be expected, societies controlled by this mindset are characterized by continual acts of violence and terror--offerings to their god. For them, salvation is obtained by vigilant adherence to the pillars of Islam, frantic works, and a lot of fear. Even Mohammad stated that he didn't know if he would make it to paradise.
In our enlightened culture, we smugly brush that aside. Thankfully, we have no such tenets. Some admit lighthearted acceptance of the God of the Bible and consider themselves spiritually complete. Others boldly claim: "I don't need a god. I decide for myself what is right and wrong, what I'll do and not do. I have my own code of ethics that beats any religious nonsense. I don't worship anything."
Oh really? Take a look in the mirror.
Just as many children cannot deny their parentage because the resemblance is so acute, you cannot deny your god. The resemblance is unmistakable.
We all worship something, We call it ambition, or drive, or power, or success. We call it the "pursuit of happiness."
You have a god, all right. He's not supernatural or made of wood and gold. Your god may be your culture: the peer group with whom you've chosen to associate and the lifestyle you shoot for. From it you gain your values, your options, and your worldview. You live for its approval and when it frowns on you, you do whatever you must to regain your standing.
Or maybe you thrive on self-denial, philanthropic serving, or public humility. That can be a god too, when your motives are self-serving. When your goal is to be noticed and applauded for your service. Or even when your motivation is the self-satisfaction you get from doing it.
Either way, it always comes down to the same god--SELF. The medical community is overloaded with dissatisfied people clamoring for cosmetic surgery to change some aspect of their physical appearance. Debt is about to destroy this nation because we simply cannot be happy with what we have. We must have more because we CAN. Morals are irrelevant when we are enmeshed in frantic pursuit to satisfy our god.
It's easy to shake our heads in disgust when we watch idolators throw their lives away, but what about you? Do your choices, financial decisions, and pastimes clearly identify your god? Your lips may pronounce the appropriate Sunday School answer, but what does your life say? To what do you gravitate when you have extra time, money, or energy?
Take a look in the mirror...or better yet, invite God to take a look inside your secret places.
Who do you look like?
Don't be afraid to face the answer. Remember, everyone else already knows.