Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Misplaced Sincerity

Last November I took part in a coat giveaway for a church plant. One little girl wanted some mitts, but there were none. She affected me so much that I asked my friends in the ladies’ Bible study if we could knit mittens for the children. Most of the women were experienced knitters and eagerly accepted the project. We agreed to knit together for one-half hour before each Bible study.

A few, like me, were willing but needed guidance from the others. I thought I could at least cast the stitches on properly. After I had knitted a few inches, someone noticed my needles dangling at odd angles. Instead of forming a tight circle with three of the short needles, I may as well have been using only two long needles. Everyone else knit round and round whereas I was knitting back and forth. I was sincere but wrong.

In the Bible God often condemned people for worshipping idols. “Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save” (Isa. 45:20, NIV). In North America we may not worship wooden idols, but we often put material things ahead of God. This is misplaced sincerity and very dangerous. The Lord demands and deserves our complete devotion and worship. He will not allow us to share our attention with other false gods. He says, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isa. 46:9, NIV).