Can someone help elaborate idolatry for me?

I know idolatry forbids us worshiping false gods, but what about making small simple things in our lives idols? Such as sports, music, celebrities, family, etc. Jesus called us to live God with all our heart, soul and mind, so basically whatever presents us from doing this has become our idol right?

There is nothing wrong with being interested in those things, nor in spending time on them.

Only if doing that obstructs you from attending to God or obeying God’s will, can they become idols in your life.

Sports is one my husband struggles with. He realized a long time ago that if something other than God or family had the power to affect his happiness, it was an idol. When we married I didn’t have a TV & wouldn’t allow one in the house. It was hard for him, but he’s come a long way.

For me, it’s when an activity becomes something I “have” to do. Checking things on the Internet can fit that. If I find myself checking things mindlessly I take an Internet break.

Oh no, would this fall under grave matter then? The small things in my life also have at times become idols for me. It does not prevent me from my Sunday obligation or anything else the Church commands us to do (Six precepts) but it does take away some prayer time for me and preventing me from loving God and my neighbour fully

I can’t make a judgment on that. Even with my own semi-permanent distractions. Tho I think they could lead to problems, but that’s the point of giving ourselves a spiritual check-up now & then - we can nip these things in the bud before they become major sins.

Anything in your life that stands between you and God

Yes, but it also takes time to come to value and love God in that way-and He’s kind and patient in helping us get there. Meanwhile that should be the goal we strive for.

Modern Catholic Dictionary:

IDOLATRY. Literally “the worship of idols,” it is giving divine honors to a creature. In the Decalogue it is part of the first commandment of God, in which Yahweh tells the people, “You shall have no gods except me. You shall not make yourself a carved image [Greek eidōlon, idol] or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them” (Exodus 20:4-5).

The early Christians were martyred for refusing to worship idols, even externally, but practical idolatry is a perennial threat to the worship of the one true God. Modern secularism is a form of practical idolatry, which claims to give man “freedom to be an end unto himself, the sole artisan and creator of his own history.” Such freedom, it is said, “cannot be reconciled with the affirmation of a Lord who is author and purpose of all things,” or at least that this freedom “makes such an affirmation altogether superfluous” (Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Church, 51).

Idolatry is always gravely sinful. Even under threat of death and without interiorly believing in the idol, a Christian may not give divine honors to a creature, thereby violating the duty of professing faith in God.

Interest in hobbies or pastimes will not become seriously sinful unless they impede serious obligations. They are smaller sins if they impede smaller obligations.

Idolatry proper involves sins against faith, such as attempting to render creatures worship, etc. That is probably a much rarer sin.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit