This is going to be a great week to be studying our Bible Lesson on Matter. The Golden Text get right to the point, "...we know that an idol stands for something that does not really exist; we know that there is only one God." (I Cor 8:4) This is a clear directive to be alert to idol worship, worshipping something that does not really exist, and to do that by understanding that there is only one God.
We might be tempted to shrug that off, I don't worship idols, I believe there is only one God. And yet, we struggle with physical, emotional, financial, and other challenges. What are we idolizing? Are we giving in to some problem as real and letting it be a part of our experience? Are we idling along with a false belief about ourselves or others?
Think about graven images. They show up all the time and not just in places of worship. Stand in the check out line at the grocery store and 'idly' glance at the magazine covers. You will see images idolizing a certain body type or a certain celebrity. They are on the cover because it sells that issue and it sells that idea. What television shows do you watch regularly? Can they make you buy into some false picture of life or do you admire a certain character? Do you actively reject it or do you take it in casually and not deny it reality. If you do it might show up as a temptation to be unhappy with your body or your job or your life style.
Mrs. Eddy writes, "The first idolatry was faith in matter". Are we placing our faith in matter? Or are we starting each day with prayer to establish clearly in thought our true identity as the image and likeness of God, good?
I can hardly wait to dig in and work with the Bible stories in this Lesson. We have Jesus' parable of the tares and wheat, a challenge to see if a thought is spiritual or material, real or unreal, based on spirit or matter. Time to pull out those 'weeds' by the roots, clear them out of your thinking. There is the story of the man by the pool of Bethesda, waiting for his healing. Do you feel helpless to see a problem resolved? And there is the story of the woman who had so accepted the reality of her problem that it had literally bowed her down for 18 years. We can identify with these situations. Been there, done that. Or we can make the commitment to daily prayer for ourselves.
Familiar as they are there is always something new to learn from them. You are in a new place as you study them. You should be. Ask yourself, have I grown in my understanding and application of Christian Science since I last worked with this parable or story? What can I glean this week?
Discard an 'idol' this week. Stop 'idling' and get to work on an unhealed problem. Stand up for Truth.