Now about food sacrificed to idols. . . (1 Cor. 8:1)

AFTER ARRIVING IN CAMBODIA, I noticed that the Cambodians would lay mats outside their homes and place different types of food on them: fruit, fish from the Mekong River, candy, rice, and deep-fried insects. I had no idea why they did this, so out of curiosity I began asking questions and discovered that this was one of their ways of presenting their offerings to the many gods and idols they believed in. Upon entering most homes, I also noticed that there was a small ledge built into one of the walls in the living room for the homeowner to place Buddha statues and incense burners.

Each morning those who are part of the household are to pray to Buddha to ensure receiving his blessings for the day. When I realized this, I blurted out, “Modern-day people don’t worship idols and statues anymore. Idols are a thing of the past!” The Cambodian believer who heard me say this replied, “You Americans may not have the kind of idols many Cambodians believe in, but you do have your own idols.” Some have made money their idol, while others worship education or possessions or devote themselves to seeking high positions. However, the important point is this: Whatever the idols may be, believers are to get rid of them and focus on the Almighty.

Make sure you are worshiping God alone, and not putting anything else ahead of Him.

Jim Lo is the author of Connect with God: The Purpose of Prayer (WPH), coauthor of Unholiness (WPH), and the dean of chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University.