Do You Still Have Idols?

Let’s take all the fluff off from idolatry and paste it into what it looks like in today’s world:

By Mary DeMuth

What is an idol?

  • Setting your heart on something other than God.
  • Something other than God that you must have to be happy.
  • Anything that captures your imagination more than God does.
  • Anything you seek outside of God that only God can give.
  • Something that “makes my life” have meaning; “give value”; “makes me significant and secure”.
  • Something you can’t live without or imagine your life without.

Determining your idols. Ask yourself:

  • What is operating in the place of Jesus as your salvation or savior?
  • What are you most afraid of?
  • What is the worst thing that could ever happen to you? Be honest.
  • What worries keep you up at night?
  • What area is it most hard to control your spending?
  • How do you react when disappointment comes?
  • What are your most uncontrollable emotions?
  • What must you have at any cost?

Some idols:

  • Love, romance
  • Invincibility, risk taking, thrill seeking
  • Something tangible to point to that shows worth: a building, a ministry, a house, a car, a promotion, a successful hobby, an empire, a business, a perfect family
  • Exploitation of others, or allowing yourself to be exploited
  • Appearing or being better than someone else, needing to be right
  • Athletics (either playing or following)
  • Peer approval, people pleasing
  • Money, prosperity (conversely: austerity, poverty)
  • Work, workaholism
  • Looks, body image, beauty, getting or being in shape, being thin
  • Power, demanding respect
  • Avoidance (of enemies, criticism, uncomfortable situations)
  • Control (your children, your world, your life, your job, your relationships)
  • Reputation, critical acclaim, achievement
  • Stability, safety, security, lack of change, lack of suffering
  • Peace, lack of conflict
  • Relationships, family, friends (harmony)
  • Favorable political climate (your party in power, the laws you like passed)
  • Success (work, ministry, parenting, relationships, sports, etc.)
  • Knowledge, education
  • Competence, skill
  • Morality, perfectionism, virtue, personal piety
  • Sex
  • Addictions (porn, shopping, alcohol, food, drugs, video games, approval)
  • Art, creative expression, music
  • Entertainment, recreation, vacation, sloth, lethargy

Quotes

“Idolatry is always the reason we ever do anything wrong.” Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods

Scriptures:

Romans 1:24-25 (NLT)  So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

Psalm 56:9-13

My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
I praise God for what he has promised;
yes, I praise the LORD for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?
I will fulfill my vows to you, O God,
and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.
For you have rescued me from death;
you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
in your life-giving light.

Source: MaryDeMuth

What else helps you identify and remove idols from your life?

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