I realized tonight that I need to be more honest with myself, and those close to me, about something that I have for too long pretended that I didn’t struggle with.
I have a serious problem with obeying the first commandment. I have a serious false idol problem.
Sometimes I feel like I worship and crave and sacrifice parts of my soul to them, and then with what little time left I will crack open my Bible or shut my eyes and direct some subconscious thoughts towards the ceiling. I write this post mainly as a reminder for me that although I am fooling everyone, I am really fooling no one (that matters).
I’ve been reading Isaiah and Jeremiah for the last few weeks, but it finally hit me tonight how relevant these books are to me. Filled with polemics against idolatry, imagery of an adultress nation-bride who flaunts infedelity at a sovereign and loving bridge-groom. It was so easy to read these words and think about how stupid Israel was…missing the fact that I need to have some Major Prophets writing polemics against me and calling me out on my behavior.
I worship the god of success. Part of me longs to be successful. Not just in money (though that’s part of it), but more in affirmation (as in people telling me how important I am).
I worship the gods of many cool and hip Christian writers/pastors/leaders/servants. I say that I want to experience God like they do, but how often is my craving for their success or influence, rather than their spiritual walk? Last night I was reading Shane Claiborne’s book “Irresistable Revolution” and realized how excited I get reading about how radically life changing the Bible has been to other people. But why do I look to Shane Claiborne and Rob Bell and John Piper and the list goes on to be challenged towards life change? Why hasn’t it clicked that I should go to the source of what has changed their life instead of accepting hand me down inspiration?
I worship the god of me.
Sometimes Most of the time I have an image of myself that is just a little too elevated…a little too polished in gold.
The list could probably keep going.
One thing that I love about the Old Testament is when a new king takes the throne in Israel who recognizes the path of destruction that Israel is on and tries to begin anew with the LORD. I can’t imagine what it must have been like…to have the strength and courage for someone like Hezekiah or Josiah to tear down the idols of their fathers. Or, in a sense, to tear down their own idols that they grew up worshipping.
Standing against their families, and the entire nation, because they knew that what was happening was wrong. What their fathers had done, and what they were doing was wrong.
I need some of that same strength and courage to stop my own idolatry. It’s been going on for far too long and I think I’m ready to be done with it.