11/30/2010

Do You Have An Idol?

  • Why can't you forgive someone?
  • Why do you lie?
  • Why do you feel threatened?
  • Why do you get so angry?
The answer to these questions are related to idolatry. So, how can you tell if you have an idol?

The sign of idolatry is always inordinate anxiety, inordinate anger, inordinate discouragement when we lose our "idol" of choice. Idols are good things (family, achievement, work and career, romance, talent, etc) that we turn into ultimate things in order to get the significance and joy we need. Then they drive us into the ground because we have to have them. If we lose a good thing, it makes us sad. If we lose an idol it devastates us. Why?

We are functionally expecting our idol to do what only God is able to do. We are trying to find our joy, significance, hope, and security in something other than Christ. These "things"are functionally our god, our idol. If we try to achieve our sense of self by our performance (as we Christians might do with our work and ministry) then we are putting something in the place of Christ as a Savior. That is an ‘idol’ by definition.

We never break any of the 2nd to 10 commandments without first breaking the 1st commandment: "You shall have no other gods before me." For instance:

  • Why can't you truly forgive someone who hurt you? It's because you're expecting that person to give you what only God can give you: love, honor, respect, approval, etc.
  • Why do you lie? It's because your reputation (I'm an honorable person), or your money or whatever is more foundational to your self and happiness than the love of God.
  • Why are so many so bothered inordinately with the economic recession? It's because they functionally regard their financial well being as the source of their security, rather than God.

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