I think our tendency is to categorize those “graven images” as idols, dismiss the whole practice as ancient, uncivilized hocus-pocus, pride ourselves on our modern sophistication, and not give it much more thought. All the while, we live amidst a culture saturated with idol worship, mostly because it has become so trivial. People Magazine. Entertainment Tonight. And all their spin-offs, generating unending celebrity obsession. The scary part is, we often drag that same mindset into the church, build stages and spotlights, make heroes of pastors, worship leaders, singers and musicians, and hardly give it a second thought.
Paul also shares a great example of how to respond if the praise is headed your way instead of heavenward:
In contrast, I came across a situation where audience adulation was handled with profound perfection. I’m still not sure if it was coincidence or spontaneity (and, by the way, I love how God often orchestrates “coincidence”), but here’s what happened.