First off, Idols are very destructive but it’s important not to get too hyped up about them.
Don’t Idolize Idols.
Jesus is more powerful and the steps to becoming free from them may be difficult because they are so addicting but there is so much grace and it’s worth it. I’ll go into getting rid of the more in the end.
I’m all about simplifying matters.
Idols cause all sort of problems. It can be overwhelming. It’s like trying to bail out the water of a leaking boat instead of patching the hole.
SO You can try and deal with all the problems…
Just simply recognize the idol and take steps to remove it.
I have found the problems caused by the Idols often disappear when the idol is fully laid before God. Laying an Idol before God can be very tough BUT it’s SO MUCH EASIER than trying to just deal with the symptoms so it’s worth it.
Journal as You Go
The first powerful step to getting rid on an Idol is to recognize it and how it is hurting you. As you read, I have questions to help you identify Idols. I suggest you take time with each question and answer them to the best of your ability. You can think of multiple idols or focus on one at a time.
Everyone has Idols.
Lots of them and it’s so easy to get them. BUT there is no shame or condemnation. We are all in this together.
Humans are wired to worship and depend upon a god.
If the god isn’t the actual creator of the Universe then it will be something else. Every person no matter what belief they have, worships gods. Even an atheist puts their faith in the gods of time, chance, mutations and survival.
What are Idols?
Humans have had Idols for our entire history. They aren’t just statues, they are things like entertainment, wealth, a job, a significant others, gods from organized religions etc.
Idols can be something we Love or Hate.
It’s very important to remember that you may idolize things you absolutely despise.
Idols are anything that we turn to instead of God.
It’s so easy to get Idols. You have a need, and you don’t know your creator well enough to know how to get that need meet by God and there are things that are just easier and Quicker. It’s when some good thing God created becomes higher in our hearts than the creator himself. An idol is something that you worship, focus and meditate on and trust in more than God.
NOT everything we turn to is an idol.
EXAMPLE: We go eat food when we are hungry instead of expecting some magic food to appear from God. Or we receive love from other people instead of directly from God. Those things are not idols in and of themselves. They only become idols when we make them into one. When we forget that God created this world and every good thing comes from him. That doesn’t have to be a religious constant thought. It’s just an understanding that is in our heart.
Idols actually give us something but it’s never enough.
Why do we have Idols?
Idols do in fact give us something or we would never have idolize them in the first place. They provide a service. No one would get addicted to an Idol if it didn't actually help to some degree.
BUT they also cause a lack AND dependance by never fulfilling the need completely.
See the next post How Idols affect us and how to Recognize them
A way to recognize an idol: is you find yourself constantly turing to something. It makes you feel good, gives you a sense of accomplishment and momentary peace. THEN soon after you feel empty and unsatiated. So you get stuck in a vicious cycle where you have to come back again and again and It’s never enough.
Example: a person has the Idol of self image. The idol gives them motivation to work out and eat healthy. BUT it also causes binge eating and depression because the standard to too high to actually be met. And so we see the endless cycle of hope and despair driven by an obsession with the idol induced image.
Check List: Do you recognize idols in your life just based on this description? List them in your journal.