For Christmas my amazing wife got me “Counterfeit Gods” by Tim Keller. I am in the last 20 pages and I highly recommend it to you. Well anyways, this book has been incredibly insightful in helping me expose many of the idols I have set up in my heart (Ezekiel 14:3).
It also has set an example of how to deal with them. They cannot simply be removed or new ones will be set up. Instead, I must be purposeful in replacing the idols in my heart with the One True God. Only He is sufficient in meeting the need. Only He is able to fully and completely bless me.
Well my wife and I have been stuck in a situation where we have been continually misjudged. On a regular basis this event has lead to my wife and I looking like evil people, insensitive people, and on and on it seems to go.
This has hurt us deeply! It seems the wound is continually being re-opened at the scar with some salt being thrown in.
Many times we have thought, “it is not fair that the offender is praised as righteous and the righteous judged wicked.”
In all of this an important question has been left unobserved.
Why does it hurt so bad if people don’t understand us, and therefore, misjudge us?
The answer is idolatry. And it is the idol of acceptance. This idol cannot fulfill what it promises. We have bought in to thinking that if we live honorably before man then we will be respected. And I have allowed into my heart this idol.
The idol of acceptance tells me, “if you do this people will think well of you.” “If you work hard people will honor you.” “If you do what is right, you will feel loved, respected, honored, and praised for your righteousness.”
However, idols are often very subtle. You don’t know they are there until the promises held out by the idols don’t come to fruition. Then you respond in anger, despair, depression, hopelessness, disappointment or a combination of them.
Tim Keller 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.
That means good thing when they become ultimate things turn into idols. Things like: marriage, children, success, money, etc. can often become idols.
So in my case, I was setting up the idol of acceptance before man and all the while ignoring that in Christ I am accepted by God. In Christ, I am righteous. In Christ, I am fully loved, understood, and respected!
God knows me!!!!!!!
And I am accepted, not because of what I have done but because someone else was misjudged, condemned, stricken by God, punished for sins He did not commit. And that man is Jesus Christ!
He is my God! And in Him I find my secure acceptance. So I will gladly share in His sufferings that I may know Him better. And I will learn to find my contentment in God’s acceptance alone. And the good news is where idols never fulfill the promises that they hold out, God never lies.
That is why idols steal your joy. But the true God will bring joy in any circumstance. Therefore, a lack of joy is a prominent sign of idolatry in ones life.
“The just shall live by faith.” – Habakkuk 2:4