IDOLS


IDOLS

An idol is anything that is so central in your life that if you lost it you would conclude that your life is incomplete without it.

We’ll get back to that.

Scores of brilliant men and women have lived and died. In all their funerals, what was most important wasn’t what they did but who they were. You’re alive and reading this blog. So, who are you? They say, ask a man who he is and he will tell you what he does. Ask a woman who she is and she will tell you how she feels. What you do is what you do and what you feel is what you feel. None of it is who you are. So, I ask again. Who are you? Allow me to break it down for you. What is your identity?

Male? Sure. Female? Granted.  Tall. Okay. Confident? Maybe. Everyone places their confidence in their identity. Your identity defines you. It gives you self worth. Your identity is so crucial to you and you may not realize it but if it is shaken, you lose meaning.

A girl has a pretty face and she confidently smiles. She derives self-worth from her physical beauty. But give her 50 more years and what do you have? A guy has a brilliant mind and he confidently gives his opinion. However, prove him wrong and what remains of him? Someone else may derive their identity in what their parents own. A bad economy strikes them bankrupt and what do you have of them? The answer to all those rhetoric questions is simple. Nothing.

Image courtesy of www.scenicreflections.com
The girl with a pretty face may feel like life has no meaning because she is no longer attractive. The guy with a brilliant mind may feel beat because there are people brighter that him. The person depending on their parents’ wealth may say their life is over because the money is gone.

An idol is anything that is so central in your life that if you lost it you would conclude that your life is incomplete without it.

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” (Matthew 6:24 NIV)

Idols make us resent time with God. If you prefer spending time with your boyfriend than spending time with God, you will fall under Matthew 6:24 very easily.

What is it about you that is so important that without it, your life could be over? Is it your spouse or your girlfriend, boyfriend or fiancée? Perhaps it’s your moral record. You’ve been such a good person. You hold self-worth and identity in your moral system. Perhaps it’s the approval of men. You cannot live a life knowing that there are people who do not like you.

Jesus is a tough choice.

Because if Jesus is in your life, it means that anything else that gave you identity must be replaced and he takes that position. It’s easy to hear and hard to accept that we are saved by grace. That we are loved by Christ no matter what we do or did. Why? Humanity has a knack of desiring to be recognized for self effort.

Growing up, I never knew Jesus died for me for free! I mean, it only made sense that I had to earn it. So I struggled so hard to keep a good moral record (better than others) so that God would approve of me. When I read in Isaiah 64:6 in the Bible that my moral record is like filthy rags before God, I must say I was disappointed. I thought to myself. “All those years of wasted effort are just filthy rags!” When I discovered for the first time, that God saw me as “dirty” as he saw other “immoral” people, I lost my self-worth. I was disillusioned and lost the zeal for God. But you see, the problem was that I idolized my moral record. It stood in the place where Jesus meant to stand.

Being saved by grace doesn’t nullify me living a life for God though. It doesn’t become an issue of, “I don’t have to do it” but “I get to do it!” Grace doesn’t open doors for careless living. It opens doors for fulfilling living.

If you want to know what’s an idol in your life, wait until someone threatens it. When you go up in arms because it destroys your identity, watch out.

If your relationship with a man or woman is so important to you that the thought of them being unfaithful to you would mean the end of your life’s worth, watch out.

If your good looks get you places and you believe that without them, you would be nowhere, watch out.

In Acts 19:23-41, the people in Ephesus began a riot led by a silversmith called Demetrius because their idols were challenged. The gospel of Jesus was putting the idols out of business. It’s the same today. For some, if their career was taken away, they would not only lose their worth but they would riot. When God takes the place of LORD in a person’s life, the idols will have to be challenged.
ARTEMIS of the EPHESIANS
Image courtesy of www.livius.org

An idol is anything that is so central in your life that if you lost it you would conclude that your life is incomplete without it.

With idols in place, Christ won’t share the space. He is either Lord of all or not Lord at all. If you pray for GOD to intervene in your life, you must ensure that you have permanently removed the idols. Christ cannot intervene when our children are more important to us than he is.

Idols are as ubiquitous as the air that we breathe and we love them. We give them masks and parade them in costumes stitched by opinions and feelings to make them look harmless. Ancient idols were made of stone and wood, yes they were nothing, not even alive. However, because of them, the devil had entry into people’s lives. Centuries ago, children were sacrificed to the stone idol of Artemis in Ephesus. They did this so that Artemis would bless their agricultural fertility and cause their businesses to grow. Today, we worship Artemis in our own way. We sacrifice our children to build our careers and businesses. And the devil has entry into our families destroying them. Who is raising the kids while you're making an extra income on "their time"? I'll tell you who. The world is. The enemy is. Television is. Curiosity is. And there's no spiritual direction manifested through time to correct them in the way to go.

We pretend that our idols are not problematic. The idol worshipper of his/her money will say, “It’s called working hard.” The one who worships their partner/ significant other will say, “But we love each other.” The costumes won’t hold. The masks will fall and the truth will out. We need a saviour.

Idols don’t live forever. Health will fail us and cost us our businesses. Age will catch up with us and Botox won’t be strong enough. Your moral record will crumble the day you face a temptation you can’t handle. Your confidence in your self will fumble the day you can’t be self-reliant. And your heart will break the day you discover she is no Cinderella and he is no Charming.

The solution. Jesus.

Confess your idolatry and ask Him to take that place.

Spend more time in the word of God and less time with the idol.

Commit to grow your relationship with Christ first before committing to improving relations affiliated to your idol.