The first time I ordered from Amazon Fresh, they were out of Pillsbury pie crust, and substituted an organic brand. This was actually a great substitution and they gave me the item for free. That was a good exchange for me-but usually, it does not work out that way. Usually the exchange ends up with something not as good. That is the type of exchange Paul is referring to in Romans chapter 1.
Paul starts out in Romans describing men who suppress the truth of God. They make a conscious decision to not believe in God, and then, by default, exchange worshiping and serving the Creator for worshiping and serving created things. In the more tribal communities, this takes the form of nature worship like trees, animals or the sun. These people make offerings to these different gods. In more developed nations, people suppress the truth of God, and worship things like money, success, status or health. How does this happen? It is all about what Paul says: they have exchanged the truth for a lie. Do you believe this? Do you think Paul is right? Have you seen this exchange or ever experienced it yourself?
What exactly is the lie exchanged? They are numerous lies that Satan lures people with. The lie that this life is all there is-so there will be no judgment of right or wrong. The lie that wealth, beauty, success or health will bring ultimate joy. Ask those who have sought these things if that is true. Was Steve Jobs able to escape facing judgment once he died? Could his money buy him a cure for his cancer? Does Eminem seem like a happy, fulfilled person to you?
You and I both know that Paul is right. The question is-how can we avoid believing the lies. They are thrust at us daily. You will be tempted by these lies today. The three of you are working hard in your studies so you can get a good job after you graduate. How do you define a “good” job? Is it a job that pays a ton of money, or a job where you can use your gifts for the good of others and for God’s kingdom? Dad and I are not immune to the lies either-whether it is a promotion dad might be offered, or a job I could take to bring in “just a little more money”- the temptation from that lie is there. Even as people who have chosen to worship the Creator himself, we would be wise to realize the lies are out there for us too. It is up to us whether we will choose to believe them or not, and that choice, will determine if whether we worship and serve our Creator or just created things.