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What is the Meaning of the First Commandment, "You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me"?
"It means to only have one God, which is God. When we find something, we don't go gaga over it. We still pray to God and not to the new thing," says Ashley, 11.
For a fuller understanding of "gaga," let's go to Cory, 11: "When the commandment says to have no other gods 'before me,' it means to love something more than God."
Lee, 8, gets specific: "You should worship God instead of your bike, Nintendo, computer or TV. You should read the Bible more."
The average American watches more than four hours of television a day. Lee, do you mean I shouldn't veg out in front of the tube for 28 hours a week? After all, I don't actually worship. I spend at least two hours a week in church on Sunday. Does God want more?
The first commandment is starting to get too personal. Lynden, 9, illustrates: "It means like not to say, 'Um, sorry, Jesus. My friends are coming over in about 10 minutes.'”
Even in a fast-paced world, we always seem to make time for important relationships. For example, people who have good marriages order their lives so that they spend time with each other. To put it simply, God wants to be our first love.
"God is kind of jealous and also the one and only true God," says Amber, 12. When God is jealous, it's a good kind of jealousy. We usually think of jealousy as being small and petty. God's jealousy is big and benevolent. He wants our whole heart because only his love can bring us into a deeper, larger place where he is our all in all.
"It means don't worship money and the things that can take over your life," says Will, 9.
It's the love of money that is the root of many kinds of evil, the Apostle Paul wrote.
My good friend Tony Carnes has written a book on idolatry. He's an accomplished author and scholar. I've asked him to share a few thoughts. Here's Tony:
"An idol is anything or anyone other than God that we allow to drive our lives. Take that popular idolatry, money or wealth. God cherishes every human being, but when you put making money before God, you redivide your world so that some people get pushed aside. You gravitate toward friendships with people who have money and avoid 'the losers' — the working class, the poor and the unemployed.
"Kids know quickly when an idol is controlling you. Parents and relatives are the sunshine of their lives. When your idol directs your life's light away from them, they immediately notice and start to wilt."
Idols, ancient or modern, always result in frustration, dissolution and ultimately despair. People and things can never fill the longing God put in our heart for an intimate love relationship with him and true community with his people as they gather under his headship.
Think about this: If God isn't our first love, life will become an endless scramble to fill the emptiness we sense.
Memorize this truth: "You shall have no other gods before me" (Deuteronomy 5:7).
Ask this question: Is there anything or anyone in your life whom you love more than God?
Listen to a talking book, download the "Kids Color Me Bible" for free, watch Kid TV Interviews and travel around the world by viewing the "Mission Explorers Streaming Video" at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version. To find out more about Carey Kinsolving and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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