First Read the Introduction to Idols
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.
Idols Control Our Emotions
Idols create an Emotional Roller Coaster
When idols don't meet our expectations we experience volatile emotions. Idols often lead to a roller coaster rides of extreme hope and extreme despair. This is because they cause us to hope and work for something. We get a taste. THEN it isn’t enough or it slips from our grasp and the void deeply effects us because we have expectations so high the only Being that can handle them is God himself.
Example: A classic example of this is codependency in relationships. When each person places huge expectations and hopes and try and draw life from the other moral only to be inevitably disappointed.
Check In: Do you notice some things in your life that cause that cycle. It can be people, or things or activities or Goals. But the defining factor is the high hope then crushing disappointment. What would it look like if the highs an lows weren’t connected to something and instead you had peace and joy despite the circumstances?
Feeling of failure, punishment and deep regret
When the idol is not obtained or achieved the effect is a feeling of failure. Sometimes you feel punished or you punish yourself for not getting it. You feel like you didn’t do well enough or you didn’t deserve it. God doesn’t punish us when we don’t do this or that but Idols do.
Example: A person idolizes their car. They are driving perfectly safe but are in an accident and the car is totaled. The person has so much regret and hatred towards themselves for “letting” that happen.
Check In: Do you notice times when you lost something or someone, or didn’t meet a certain goal etc and you found yourself beating yourself up because of it. You cannot forgive yourself or let it go? List this things. What would it look like if you didn’t have that regret, or feeling of failure or punishment and you had the feeling of acceptance, security and unceasing forgiveness instead?
Idols Cause Envy
Idols are like salt water. The more you drink the more dehydrated you get. Idols create more and more need. The result it jealousness, coveting and constant comparison and the feeling of always being in lack.
Example: Someone idolizes clothes. They have a huge wardrobe but they can’t help but always wish they had more. They wish they could have other peoples clothes too or afford where they shop. Whenever someone is around them with better or newer clothes they can’t help but compare and wish. It’s never enough.
Stress, And lack of Peace
Idols INTENTIONALLY take peace away from us. It’s one of the biggest way you can recognize if something is an idol or not. Idols are destructive so they cannot give peace and their intention is to destroy so the stress of not having them or meeting there demands will always be felt, however slight.
Example: a person idolizes their Job. They are doing well and are respected but they always feel anxious and afraid they will lose the job.
Check In: What in your life constantly causes you stress when you don’t have it or take care of it properly. You want it and value it yet it takes your peace and gives you stress. Write down those things? What would it look like if you didn’t have that stress and you had peace instead?
Idols are Controlling and take from us
The Cost of what Idols give us is high
give us something but the price is varying degrees of destruction
Idols demand Money, Time and Resources
Another way to recognize an idol is to notice what you would willingly give money time and resources to without thinking I does require times require our money and so when we idolize them we give them money without thinking
Check In: What do you give money to without thinking that may not be so healthy or may be compulsive? What will you give time and energy to without a hesitation when other things you would never go out of your way for? List those things.
Idols cause compulsive often repetitive actions
Idols demand worship. So each idol has some sort of accompanying action that is very hard to resist when one has the idol.
Example: A person has materialism as an idol so they find themselves constantly shopping and reading about things to buy.
When you find yourself composed to do a repetitive action it can often be because of an ido
Does the suspected idol cause compulsive action that is more or less destructive and you can't seem to stop?
And idol is often something that you think of first in your morning. Idols are often something you start obsessing about when you wake up.
God is something that you often think of
Idols are something that you obsess over for a lot of the daywhen you find yourself obsessing over something it could be an idol
Check In: Do you find yourself thinking of something first thing most mornings, more than is healthy? Do you find yourself obsessing over something during the day?
Idols are often something you think of first thing in the morning
control us by fear
You can recognize when something has become an idol because the thought of letting go of it or a good feeling you creates fear often intense and even crippling fear
But idols do that cycle so that they can control
No matter how awesome and idol is it is never worth holding onto because of the deficit it creates in the destruction yields to our soul
Idols Block us receiving from God
Idols block God's blessing
in our lives
Idols block our ability to hear God clearly
Idols create noise in our head they talk to us they have opinions that they put in our mind
the more idols you get rid of the clearer your mind will be
Idols are particularly vicious because they can sounds like God in our minds and can miss direct us
Another way to recognize an idol is when you're praying for something and you hear you think you hear gods voice
are there times you couldn't tell if you heard GOd clearly? Could you have an idol in that area that may make you hear different?
Idols Dictate our Identity
You are what you worship
Idols Dictate our value
We are meant to get our self value from God. God values us without us doing anything. When we are in a healthy relationship with God we know that
We become like the idol
Image of the Idol
When we worship and think and obsess over in idol the image of that idol gets burned on our soul
So we started becoming more and more like that idol and our identity gets lost in it
Another big way to recognize an idol is by what you have a strong identity in
Not everything that you identify with is bad but when it becomes a core part of your identity and you become very insecure when that part of your identity is poked at it could very likely be because of an idol
And I don't can be anything it can be a person of thing a concept an ideal it can be something good or it could be something that you hate
You do not have to love and idle for it to be one and I don't can be something you hate
Why Idols are so Bad
“Have no other God before you” is the First of the ten commandments for a reason.
Yeah they cause SO many problems. It is NEVER WORTH Tolerating Idols for a moment.
Move on to How To get Rid of idols
Move on to How To get Rid of idols