Accomplishments Becoming An Idol

I recently got a new phone, and one of the apps I added was the Bible App. You may be familiar with it. I just wanted an app that I could access the Bible on my phone for. And I’ve heard people praise this app. They do have a scripture of the day picked out, as well as multiple translations, which is nice.

Part of the praise, related to the app showing you how consistently you read the Bible.

And another, I haven’t seen people talk about but it is tied to the previous statement. The sense of accomplishment.

One feature I liked is that you can highlight scriptures to reference easier. One feature I found out today that I do not like…you can get “awards” for highlighting so many scriptures.

Why do so many things have to be tied to our sense of self-accomplishment? I understand being accomplished and completing goals has a healthy and positive effect on our lives. This is why games can be addicting actually. Our brain receives positive chemicals when we achieve a new level, new item, higher status, reward, or trophy. Just like in real life.

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But some people live and thrive on the sense of accomplishment. We find our worth from completion and success.

As a believer, this is a problem because it completely shifts our focus and what our true goals should be focused on.

(KJ) Hebrews 12:02, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Take this Bible app for example. On the surface, there may be an encouragement to read more scripture. On the marketable standpoint to get more users, this can entice users to use or do multiple things in the app, not for drawing closer to God but for the sense of accomplishment.

Deceivement is cloaked in something that appears holy and righteous.

Now, I’m not against the app. I’m not against the rewards or anything extra the app may give to users. This is all an individual heart issue for us.

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Why do we read scripture? Using this app, other apps, or an actual physical Bible. Is it because we feel like we have to? So we can scratch another markdown seeing how consistent we are.

“I’ve read the Bible so many times.”

“Yep, I uh, read three chapters a day.” 

Same thing with prayer. People can easily gloat and boast about how much they do something.

It all goes from something we get to do to something we have to do or what we believe we have to do.

I wonder what it would be like if God felt like He “had” to make me. I was just something He checked off His list. If He felt like He was more accomplished simply by giving me some time to listen to me, to “look” like a good God.

He, of course, does not do this. He loves me and He made me and spends time with me because of His love for me. But truthfully, am I giving the same to Him?

Or am I making Him something to check off my list?

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I think it is easy for us to fall into self-righteousness. Our success and our worth can be wrapped up in what others determine to be an accomplishment. In what the world wants us to view as an accomplishment.

(GWT) Colossians 3:01, “Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above-where Christ holds the highest position.”

But what does God think about these things? Do they really matter?

For example, I’ll put myself on the spot, speaking about games. I am level 1618 in Candy Crush. Does God care about this? No, probably not. Is it reflecting Christ? Not really. I do talk to Him sometimes as I play, but He values our time, not the game.

(NIV) Romans 8:06, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

And talking to God while playing a game can easily get distracting. Not that you shouldn’t talk to God when you are doing something, it’s just He needs His own time too, and when we are not distracted.

But how do I view my level? I look at it as an accomplishment. The world does too.

But for God…it’s just something temporary. It’s meaningless. This is why we need to be focused on what really matters, and to have our hearts sincere.

(ESV) Psalm 141:08, “But my eyes are toward you, O GOD, my Lord; in You I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!”

What are we focusing on?

Do we even know what/who is the enemy?


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21 thoughts on “Accomplishments Becoming An Idol

  1. After you mentioned the rewards but before you brought up games, I was thinking “Oh, so they’re turning reading scripture into another phone game?” Perhaps a good marketing move but not a Godly one. Sounds like a pathway to becoming a Pharisee for believers who aren’t spiritually mature. I read a lot of scripture, but it’s probably good that I miss days so I can’t get too full of myself.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I agree. Our focus is to be on Him! I like what you said about God not showing us love as an obligation.
    I don’t like the rewards part of the app for myself either. It actually aggravates me because I know that many of those days where I read the verse, I barely even thought about it, and I should have been digging in deep to the word and spending intimate time with God. I have nothing to congratulate myself for. For children who have the app, though, I think it can be a good thing. It may be the only thing that motivates them to get in the word, since they are not yet mature enough. But at some point, as we get older, we need to become more mature, and like you said, stop doing these things for the rewards of man, and start doing them for God, who will reward us in His way and His time. Ultimately, He is our greatest reward, and all the rewards of man are part of our treasures that fade, rust, decay, etc. Our treasures are to be laid up in heaven; those are the only ones that will last.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amen, and I think you made a good point about kids. It can be beneficial to them. And Paul says when he became a man he put childish things behind him. So for young and possibly spiritually immature maybe this could be beneficial to encourage Biblereading. .

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with you. It’s always a heart issue. I use the app and to be honest I have never seen the awards as distraction neither has it made me more focused. I delete any email from apps without reading them lol. I see it both ways though. It can be good and it can be bad. Like the previous commenter said, some people have to start from somewhere until they get matured. However I see how it can also be a distraction. In all we do, motives have a role to play.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Matthew 6:6 says “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you”. The thought just came to my mind that why would I ever want the reward of the world for “looking good” on the outside (meanwhile knowing that it’s not really true), when I could be rewarded by the Father himself, the Creator of the universe, for enjoying and resting in his presence? How could I ever want anything else? What are these temporary “rewards” of the world with to me? It is all about putting these things of the world intro perspective with all that which is found in God.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very insightful post! I think about Acts 20:35 which reminds me that there’s more happiness in giving than receiving. As you mentioned, many people look for self-gratification and satisfaction in many different ways. But we serve a generous God and we’re made in His image. We gain so much happiness when we focus on the needs of others and address those needs. There’s so many scriptures that stress the importance of generosity, hospitality, caring for and loving others and putting the needs of others over our own. When that’s our main focus then we can feel really accomplished.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen!!! We feel more fulfilled when we are fulfilling His call in our life which is to serve. We can all serve in many ways, just like you shared! You’re so right, scriptures constantly show us why it is important for us to serve and how the need is so great. Thanks for your comment!!

      Like

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