Dear Friends, This one nailed me. Yes, anything can become an idol to us. God gives us many good things for which we can be grateful, but nothing should be put in place of God. Let’s pray for God to reveal to us anything we need to let go of. Sara
Be Wary of Idols by Lane Williams Yoder
“Anything can become an ‘idol’ to us — that is, something we put in place of God.”
– Rev. Billy Graham (emphasis mine)
In Dr. Tim Keller’s book, Counterfeit Gods, he says, “An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” For me, that was marriage and a husband. In my hearts of hearts, I would say to myself over and over the “if only’s” – “If only I had a husband, then I would know I’m worthy. If only I were married, then I would know I am valued. If only a man would love me enough to marry me, then I would know I am worthy of love.” Here’s the thing: it’s a fill in the blank answer for everyone to the question, “What are you looking to to save you?” If only I had money. If only I had career success. If only I had children. If I only were popular.
Marriage is a good thing, but in the words of Dr. Keller, it’s when we turn good things into ultimate things that we have a problem. Again, one of the verses to which I would regularly turn was Psalm 84:11b, “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” About that verse, the great biblical commentator, Matthew Henry, wrote, “This is…such an assurance of the present comfort of the saints that, whatever they desire, and think they need, they may be sure that either Infinite Wisdom sees it is not good for them or Infinite Goodness will give it to them in due time.” For me to love God and a husband in the right order, God had to remove the idol of marriage from my heart. It was a painful yet eternally necessary removal process and one I would not change for anything in the world. God must be the only one to sit on the throne of our heart so ask Him to show you if there are any idols He needs to remove.
Survival Guide Top Tip: be willing to let go of anything you put before God or in place of God.