Thursday, November 17, 2011

True Love or Idolatry?

I heard an interesting comment on KLOVE yesterday.  To be honest, I tuned in at what seemed to be the last few sentences of a thought-provoking conversation.  They were discussing how we (humans) try to find something or someone to idolize.  I totally agree with that.  That isn't new.  Biblically the Israelites were constantly being pulled away from following the idols of other nations as well as creating their own.

When some people think of worshipping idols I know they think of a gold or marble statue.  Most people I know wouldn't think of idolizing a man-made statue.  However, I was taught that anything we let become more important to us than God could be considered our idol.  That could include money, cars, houses, sports or really anything.  The discussion on KLOVE was something different yet.  They were talking about idolizing a person. 

Although I missed most of the discussion, I did find the letter that started their discussion posted on their site.  It was from Scotty Smith, Pastor for Preaching, Christ Community Church, " ...it’s idolatrous to give anybody the power to make us through their affirmation, or destroy us by their rejection."  Wow!  My first thought was that a lot of old love songs have it all wrong!  The attitude of I'll-just-die-if-you-don't-love-me or I-can't-live-without-you is wrong from many different angles but I'd never thought of it as idolatry.  What do you think?

The more I thought about it the more I agreed.  To allow anyone, even your most beloved people, to have that kind of power over you really is a form of idolatry as it totally gets in the way of you fulfilling your calling as a Child of God.   When pondering this I first thought of teenagers and the drama of love in their lives.  If a teenager believes their happiness is dependent on the acceptance of another, that is taking God to a lower level.  That is idolatry.

I thought this out even further.  I think most of us who are happily married, at some point, wonder how we could possibly be happy if our spouse were to die.   I've seen people wrap their grief around themselves and hold onto it for years, allowing that grief to keep them from living as a confident Child of God.  Is that a form of idolatry?  I had never thought of it that way but I kind of think maybe it is.

However you think of it or look at it, anything that comes before God in your life is likely idolatry, even if it is a person.  We are called to love others.  We are made to have sustaining relationships but none of them should ever be more important to us than our relationship with God.  That's what I think.

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3 comments:

Kate W. said...

This came up a long time ago in my life, when we were struggling with infertility. I was a member of a wonderful Christian online community for infertility support, and one of the women commented that we had to be careful not to make our desire for a child our idol. She and I had many conversations about this, and it opened my eyes and completely changed how we dealt with our infertility. Idols are not just inanimate objects. They can be other people, thoughts, feelings, desires. The devil uses everything at his disposal to separate us for our Father!

EJN said...

Susan,
Thanks for the post. Absolutely true. When it comes down to truth, Christ is all that we truly possess and He is MORE than enough.
Thanks for the link. Scotty Smith is in our neck of the woods.
Blessings on your day, friend,
Jojo

Susan said...

Thanks, EJN. And Kate, wow, I'd never thought of it that way!

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