1 John 5:21: The Real Thing

I John 5:21 “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”

When I was a teenager, I begged my parents for a Gucci purse. A real one. Some of my friends had them, and I wanted one. I remember shopping with my mom, and spying what looked to me like a wonderful imitation, at a much lower price! I looked at Mom with hopeful eyes as she examined the purse. She showed me that the imitation was not well-made, and would probably not be worth even the low cost, for it would surely not last.


I was disappointed, for I just KNEW I would never get the real thing. But that Christmas, guess what was under the tree? You got it! A REAL Gucci purse. A small one, at the lower end of their pricing, but still. It was a Gucci. I enjoyed that purse for nearly twenty years, and even then, the purse was still intact.

In John’s time, idol worship was common. But an idol doesn’t have to be a statue. An idol can be anything that tries to imitate God, anything that tries to steal God’s rightful place on the throne of our hearts. In the previous verse, John told us that we belong to the true God. There are many imitations out there, with promises of “the good life.” But the imitations will not deliver what they promise. They will not last. As God’s children, we must be aware of the imitations which surround us, and keep ourselves from them. We must remain faithful to the one true God.

Dear Father, Thank You for blessing me with the real thing . . . You! Please help me to push aside anything that tries to steal Your rightful place as Lord of my life.

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