That Idol That You Love, It Doesn’t Love You Back

The Apostle John ended his first epistle very abruptly: Little children keep yourself from idols. The End. No salutation. Not even a “Grace to you and peace.”

I think John did it this way to get our attention because idols have a sneaky way of getting us to love them and serve them. We are deceived into believing they love us and serve us back–but they don’t.

Keeping ourselves free from idols is a daily process and we often need help. That’s why I share this recent blog post from Justin Buzzard. It is jam-packed with insight. You’ll find many powerful sentences and one of them just might bring the grace and truth we need to keep ourselves from our idol-of-the-day.

Take an extra minute to read it slowly:

 That Idol That You Love, It Doesn’t Love You Back by Justin Buzzard

Everyone has to live for something and if that something isn’t the one true God, it will be a false God–an idol.

An idol is anything more important to you than God. Therefore, you can turn even very good things into idols. You can turn a good thing like family, success, acceptance, money, your plans, etc. into a god thing–into something you worship and place at the center of your life.

This is what sin is. Sin is building your life and meaning on anything (even a good thing) more than God.

Do you know the idols you’re prone to worship? At our church we talk about 4 root idols that we tend to attach our lives to.

CONTROL. You know you have a control idol if your greatest nightmare is uncertainty.

APPROVAL. You know you have an approval idol if your greatest nightmare is rejection.

COMFORT. You know you have a comfort idol if your greatest nightmare is stress/demands.

POWER. You know you have a power idol if your greatest nightmare is humiliation.

Here’s what you need to know about your idol: That idol that you love, it doesn’t love you back. False gods don’t love you. Idols don’t keep their promises. Anything you worship and build your life on other than God will suck the life out of you and destroy you.

A relationship with Jesus starts when you identify and turn from your idols. Notice what Jesus was always doing with people during his ministry–he was constantly identifying and challenging people’s idols, calling them to turn from their false objects of worship in order to follow and worship him.

I’m convinced that the reason there is so much shallow Christianity in our culture is because many people never displace the idolatry in their lives with Jesus, but instead simply bring in Jesus as an “add on” to their life, keeping their idolatry firmly in the center.

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