When you hear the word idol, what comes to mind? Perhaps thoughts of a statue or an icon. If so, your idea of an idol may be too narrow. You may think that idols only come in physical forms and resemble something like pre-modern totems.
The Bible offers a more nuanced understanding of idols, namely that idols are God’s replacements. According to Tim Keller, idols are when something becomes “more fundamental than God to your happiness, meaning in life or identity.” It is anything you rest your heart on more than God. An idol may be career, money, the opposite sex, or even one’s children. We look to our idols to give us security, significance, and satisfaction.
If you rest your heart on anything more than God, you make that thing an idol. The result is that it won’t ultimately satisfy.
There are many ways God reveals to us our idols. It may be trials like a loss of a job, financial setback, or the loss of a romantic relationship.
Trials are God’s main way to reveal to us out idols. C. S. Lewis once said, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Trials drain from us our self-sufficiency so we can see what we are trusting in. It allows us to see who we are.
Next time, I will share how God can change our hearts and cause us to trust God and not our idols. You won’t want to miss it!