The apostle said of a certain category of Hebrew people: "Their god is their belly" (Phil. 3:19). The logic here is very simple: our real gods are the things that we serve. It is easy to understand what a man's god is: just look at the goals that he defines for himself as a priority. Look what he works for, spends his strength, time, abilities on. His real god is what brings him the greatest joy, to what end he is ready to strive with all the strength of his soul and body.
If our God is Christ, then we serve him by putting all our thoughts, words and actions to the Gospel, trying to resemble Christ in every way of our life. Then our greatest joy is prayer - the communication with our God.
But who do we really serve, not in our reasoning, but in our daily routine? Alas, the most diverse array of gods is revealed here, the service of which any person will be embarrassed to admit even to himself. Moreover, the "belly" from the Apostles sermon stands on far from the most important place among these gods . Although there are people in the world, whose meaning of life really comes down to the desire to eat with pleasure. It does not matter what specific form this aspiration takes in each case: someone finds himself at the top of bliss when he eats a piece of sausage at night standing next to the refrigerator, others sees themselves happy at a table in a good restaurant with fine cuisine, and someone works in the office for a whole week, warming his soul with the thought of a weekend barbecue.
Of course, the wish to eat well is normal and even natural. But here's the question: should the pleasure from good food really be the greatest joy in a person's life? There may be a number of other gods that people are willing to serve. For some, it can be travel: the opportunity to take a plane ticket and in a few hours to enjoy new impressions in a completely different part of the world. For someone, it's buying a new car that the person has been dreaming of for a long time: so puts every penny away for it, and even at night he sees it in his dreams, actually desiring that car more than the woman he loves. And for someone, such a god may actually be the beloved woman.
The joys can be more refined: theater, poetry, music, art in all its manifestations. For someone more analytical, the main joy in life can be mathematics or chess. Prayers are often perceived by a modern Christian as a kind of painful, but necessary duty that has to be performed, as they say, "according to the regulations."
In my opinion, the conclusion here is simple. There are joys of the body, joys of the mind and there are joys of the heart. If at least one of them becomes more important for a person then the joy of communicating with God in prayer, then this joy, at the moment, becomes his real god. Or, to put it more simply, his idol. However sad it is, we must admit this bias in our values. Otherwise, it is unlikely that we can really learn to love prayer, and, therefore, God, at all.
This article was originally published on the program "Private opinion" for radio "Vera": https://radiovera.ru/kto-tvoy-bog.html