We all have idols, children (me), desire for security (me), praise from others, careers, sports, personal achievement and so on . . .
Everything I listed above represents good things however when we heap too much attention and affection on those things, we lose perspective and make idols.
I think one of the reasons we create or make perfectly good things idols is the desire to trade a responsibility that may not have a high yield of personal pleasure for something that we assume will.
An example would be a spouse that makes their profession their idol. They work very hard but neglect their family. That person’s selfish and hedonistic thinking goes something like this – If I pour hard work into my relationships with my spouse and children am I really going to reap any personal pleasure from it?
They think if they instead pour themselves into their career it may give them wealth, status, along with the praise of others. They are not going to get THAT from their persistence in building a family. Many people may simply think good kids or a solid marriage was just luck and they may not receive any credit/praise for either. Are you beginning to see my point?
We make idols of what we think will yield us the most pleasure. But of course, we not only displease God when we do so, we hurt and shortchange others. We only have so much time and attention and idols always consume so much of both, whether it is overprotected and indulged children or a job that has consumed our life.
No one can compete with an idol. A husband cannot compete with children who are idolized by their mother just as a wife cannot compete with a husband’s job that has become his life.
We shouldn’t place the wonderful blessings in our lives, the things that if we lost them would devastate us, in competition with anything. The question then becomes, how do we AVOID making idols?
I think it is imperative that we have people in our lives who have the courage to tell the truth when we begin to lose perspective. Then, we must have the humility to listen to and trust them.
Once we realize what we have done, placing our attention and affection on the wrong thing, we have to fix it. Fixing it means to take the initiative to change course.
Have the faith to ask God for His strength and help. I truly believe if you WANT to do the right thing, your heart will change – by the grace of God.
At least, that’s how I see it.
Have a blessed day!