Oh, how many times I’ve read verses on idols and dismissed them because I don’t have that problem.
I was having a conversation with a friend about a struggle I had with a person that I hate to admit, I don’t really like. We all have these people in our lives. They are usually people we clash with, people we try to make happy but can’t, or people that have wounded our hearts. At other times they are people we are jealous of (even if we don’t want to admit it) or compare ourselves to.
My friend listened and then without flinching said, “you have an idol problem.”
For a moment, I couldn’t speak. Somewhat offended, my mind was trying to make sense of that comment. I was talking about a relationship struggle and she’s telling me I have a false god! How could the person I can’t stand be someone I worship?
It became clearer as my friend said, “anything you rehearse in your mind, more than you rehearse God, is an idol. You are allowing this person to consume your mind, dictate your emotions, and determine how you think of yourself.”
I went home. Thought … Pondered … Thought some more.
I looked up the word “idol” and then constructed a list that I titled “It’s an Idol If…”
It’s an Idol If… (or They Are an Idol If…)
- I seek to gain approval from it.
- I panic, & scurry trying to appease my god so that it won’t be upset with me.
- I am consumed by fear that I might upset them.
- I give power to it to control my thoughts, emotions, & decisions.
- I allow it to define me and therefore gain my identity from it.
- I regard it as sacred and no one had better mess with it.
Me? Have false gods?
I’ve been to India and have seen carved idols and felt sorry for people as they prayed to their god. I’ve been to villages where people offered the blood of chicken as a sacrifice to their god.
Oh the sorrow when i realized I have been bowing down to other gods. When I realized that my heart has been divided, I fell in tears and confession before the God Most High. I knew that day what a Holy Fire was. I was consumed with a holy fear. This fear was different than I’d ever known. It was a fear that led to freedom, and burned up captivity. It was a fear blanketed with love and desire to be with MY GOD. It was a fear penetrated with peace and I found an unknown intimacy with God.
Published November 13, 2014