Have you ever heard the expression, “You are what you eat”? No doubt this is something maybe you have said before or heard someone else say at some point. If you constantly eat ice cream and nothing else, and I happen to really like ice cream, your body is likely to show it soon enough. Of course, you won’t literally become an ice cream cone, and good thing.
In a similar sense the psalmist says, “You are what you worship.” This is a paraphrase of what we read in Psalm 135,
“The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them” (vv. 15-18, see also Ps. 115:4-8).
The psalmist reflects upon the fact that those who fashion idols become like them, and so do those who trust in these idols. In America you won’t find as many idols made of silver or gold but one idol is silver and gold. Such a person talks and thinks about money all the time. They find it difficult to have a conversation about anything else, or at least they don’t desire to have conversations about other things. Of course, just like the ice cream, in being made like money they don’t literally become money. Although there is some truth to the one who worships money becoming like cold hard cash, emphasis on cold and hard. Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24). The fact of the matter is you cannot serve God and anything else. He alone deserves our total and complete allegiance, no one and nothing else.
How is it true of the Christian, “You are what you worship”? For this is the will of God, your sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3a). We are to grow in Christlikeness. This is God’s will for the one who has trusted in Christ rather than in idols, what they or others have fashioned (in their minds or in their hearts). We also see this as Paul speaks to the saints (aka believers) in Rome,
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:28-30).
God has predestined believers to be conformed to the image of His Son, to make them like the One they worship!