Our Life on Christ

Monday, January 23, 2012

3 Steps to Solve the Idolatry Problem (and the Definition of Idolatry)

I realized after watching the above video that I, even though I like to think it is not the case, put idols before God. I do not sit in my house and bow down before figures of rotund little men or kiss golden figurines before making decisions but, unfortunately, God is NOT always who I turn to first during times of affliction. Who or what is, you ask? Usually chocolate. Whenever I am stressed or sad, chocolate—lots of chocolate (like an entire bag of Hershey’s kisses)—usually does the trick. Or I’ll have a movie marathon, or just sulk. This is not always the case when I’m down but it happens more often than it should.

I found the above video at Take Your Vitamin Z blog. It is an interview with Dr. David Powlison from the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. Watch it for yourself. It’s only 3 minutes long. If that is too long for you (if it is, we need to see why you are so busy), you can skip to my favorite, most relevant part--2:10 to 2:35. I’ll make it even easier for you--here is what is contained in those 25 seconds:
"If God is supposed to be my refuge in trouble and a very present help in affliction but whenever I’m in trouble or affliction I go flip on the TV or I go eat, behind my action there is a spiritual action that is saying, '[Go to] the ice cream or the TV,' that is driving [my outward action]."
We were made to be creatures that worship. In his book Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp says that we are “all essentially religious—we either worship Jehovah or idols.” God knows us. He knows us better than we know ourselves because our hearts are deceitful. And the God who knows us, knows that we lust after our neighbor’s spouse or that we hate our brothers and yet, He chooses to renew His mercies for us every morning. Doesn’t He deserves our full worship?

How can we keep idolatry out of our lives? 

1. Identify your idols. How? Take the verbs that relate us to God like love, fear, obey, glorify, or praise. Flip it around and ask yourself, “What am I loving? What do I fear? What voice in this world do I obey? Who am I praising? What am I glorifying?” Whether it is human comfort, being in control, death, poverty, rejection, whatever you answer can be considered an idol you have before God. Besides finding comfort in any confection that originated from the cocoa bean, I know that I also place too much emphasis on others’ perceptions of me. This (the fear of man), too, is an idol.

2. Seek mercy and deliverance from God. Ask God for forgiveness and to strengthen your trust in Him.

3. Repeat and repeat again. We will never be perfect. After we gain control over one idol, another one may present itself. We will always need God’s help. There is a blessing from knowing your need for help from outside of yourself.

What idols do you have in your life? Feel free to share--we won't judge you! Leave a comment below.

Here is another video that goes over the steps listed above:


  1. your newest follower from bloggers.com. Voted and followed you there too. you can find me at http://purplechronicle.blogspot.com/

  2. Okay, great! Thanks for following on Bloggers.com! We will check you out :)

  3. Interesting post, Anji. I could totally relate to your comment about chocolate. I think I have a tendency during stressful times to go get lost in a video game or movie when I should be talking to Him about it. 

  4. Yeah, it is something that we have to intentionally do. It is so easy to just get lost in the bag of mini Reese's or game or movie; these things make us feel good. We have to consciously deal with our feelings and give them to Him. Not so easy always.

  5. This was indeed an interesting read! I was recently having a conversation about idolatry with my mother and we were both left wondering what could be considered as such.  This really cleared things up for me.  I will definitely be sharing this with her and asking God to renew my strength and trust in Him, that I may glorify these things of the world.

    Thanks for sharing!!!! 

  6. We are glad that this was helpful for you, Dre!

    Our prayer for you:

    Lord, please help Dre to focus her eyes on you and only you. Renew her heart and mind, Lord. Comfort her, provide for her, protect her, strengthen her, Lord! Let her feel your love for her and let your will live out in her life. Assure Dre that as long as she has you, she has more than enough!
    In Jesus' name, Amen!