Idolatry as a Geek

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21

It’s fun to be a geek. We all have our weird passions that make us who we are [read: that make us awesome]. My geekiness extends to comic books, action figures, video games, and most of all, board games.

It’s easy to let our passions consume us, though. I struggle with this every day. As a museum curator, it’s literally my job to collect things and keep them in “mint condition.” This obsessive nature has manifested itself ever since I was a kid, organizing my baseball cards by number, putting my comic books in protective polybags, and noting any holes in my collections. I guess it’s in my DNA.

But when you are as passionate about something as I am about all my above-mentioned, wallet-sucking pastimes, the line between hobby and idolatry can become blurred. If you ask anyone who knows me to briefly describe me, they’ll probably say, “Stephen is a huge Spider-Man fan, and he has a ridiculous [again, read: awesome] collection of board games.” It’s really difficult for me to admit this (like, painfully so), but my faith in Christ is probably not going to be in that person’s description of me.

I largely keep my faith to myself; evangelism is not a strong suit for me. Instead, the earthly things with which I surround myself are what define me in many people’s eyes, maybe even my own. Perhaps this is my fault. After all, it’s so easy to talk about the things you love. I do it all the time. If I talked about Jesus half as much as I ramble on about rolling dice, every single person I talk to would know about my faith.

Don’t get me wrong, I have seen God use the passions He gave me for His glory. I know people who came to Christ as a result of being a part of my college game group. God can use things that seem meaningless to do mighty works. There’s just a fine line between being thankful for His rich blessings and idolatrously worshiping said blessings. All too often, I fall on the wrong side of that line. My treasure is in the wrong place, so my heart is too.

There are a million ways to justify it. After all, God made me a passionate person with an interest in collections, so by stuffing my closet with countless boxes of geeky junk, I’m really honoring God and using the gifts He gave me… right?

This is something I really need to work on. I need God to reorient me, to show me treasures in heaven far outweigh treasures on earth. After all, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

If this is something you struggle with as well, I’d love to talk about it and pray for you. You can email me at stephen.hall@geeksundergrace.com

Stephen Hall

My geek roots run deep. I have been a gamer and comic book reader since I was a kid, but tabletop games are my #1 hobby.

1 Comment

  1. Cursethemountain on January 17, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    This is something I struggle with as well.

Leave a Reply