I wanted to write a post on idols after watching a short devotion on this topic put out by "Gospel in Life." I would encourage everyone to go and get this study as it is very powerful and convicting. I have heard many sermons on idols but I would usually think "oh, I know I have some idols but not as many as other people." After going through this session it struck me how many things are idols in my life. There are even many good things, that, when I place them before the Lord, they become idols of my heart. For instance, relationships. I long for good, strong, Christian, relationships but sometimes I put so much focus on them that I forget about my most important relationship. My spiritual relationship with the Lord. There are many other things as well, family, material things, money, a longing to be remembered and known, school, technology, the list goes on and on! I know many of these things are good as well so how do we know when these things have become or start to become an idol? Richard Keyes in his essay The Idol Factory notes,
All sorts of things are potential idols...If this is so, how do we determine when something has become or is becoming an idol? ... As soon as our loyalty to anything leads us to disobey God, we are in danger of making it an idol... An idol can be a physical object, a property, a person, an activity, a role, an institution, a hope, an image, an idea, a pleasure, a hero.
This quote makes me wonder how many other things I make into idols without even realizing it. Not only have these things become idols in my life but I am trying to gain happiness and satisfaction from these things instead of from the Lord! The only one who can grant me true happiness and fullness of life.The pathetic thing is is that these idols will NEVER satisfy, we always want something more, something better, more fun, to fill the emptiness within. It is only by the Lord's help that we can stop living for these idols and start living our lives out for him as "living sacrifices."
These following questions are really helpful to understand what our idols are and even show us the hidden idols of our heart.
1. What is my greatest nightmare? What do I worry about the most?
2. What do I rely on or comfort myself with when things go badly or become difficult?
3. What makes me feel the most self-worth? What am I the proudest of?
4. What do I really want and expect out of life? What would really make me happy?
I think we should all reflect on these questions and ask the Lord to help us remove these from our hearts.
Lord, I see how repulsive idolizing this mere idol really is. In yearning after this, I was trampling on your love for me. I realize now my lack of thankfulness, my lack of grateful joy for what you have done for me.