Yesterday we looked specifically at the approval idol and how we need to look to God to fill the need for affirmation and approval.
Continuing that thought, let’s look at how to overcome the control, power, and comfort idols.
If you greatly value self-discipline; if you hold everyone, including your self to certain standards; if you worry constantly about things you can’t change, then you may be dealing with an idol of control. With a control idol, life only has meaning if you gain mastery over a specific area(s). This one trips me up a lot, though not nearly as much as approval. It’s also interesting because control can go to both sides of the spectrum. Sometimes people who are constantly dieting or obsessing over weight/size are really struggling with an idol of control. When a lot of my life might feel out of control, I sometimes find myself overeating because it’s one thing I can control. Some people may obsessively clean their home or body in an effort to control, while others may exhibit slovenly behavior from the same need to control.
Contrast this with Romans 8:28:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Our vain attempts are control are just that – in vain. Pointless. God is the one who has all things under his control.
What about power? Are you someone who has to win at all costs? Is success the name of the game? This may mean that you prize work and climbing the corporate ladder above everything else. It could mean that you wish to exert your influence over the people around you. It may be that you want to win at anything you do. Other people are often seen as pawns to be used as you feel helps you the best. You may feel anger at others who attempt to exert power over you or when you cannot have influence over a circumstance. With a power idol you only feel that you have worth if you have power and significance over others.
The answer to this lies in Psalm 145:8:
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
God is gracious and compassionate to you and so you can let go of your need to exert power over others and instead be gracious and compassionate.
And, lastly, for those of you who identify with the idol of comfort. As pointed out in a comment, this doesn’t necessarily mean luxury, but instead seeking ease or lack of stress as the most important thing. If you desire your privacy above serving others, you may be struggling with a comfort idol. You may find yourself choosing the easy road, the path of least resistance. You may not accomplish as much with your life, but you’ll make sure you don’t have a lot of stress put on you. Life only has meaning if a certain quality of life, pleasure or experience happens.
Cling to this instead, from Psalm 16:11:
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Instead of looking to pleasures to bring you comfort, look to Christ for the fullness of joy and pleasures that never end.
I hope that this look at idols hasn’t weighed you down too much. It’s hard to look face-to-face at some of the ugliness of sin within us. Don’t be discouraged, but look to Christ instead. We’ll talk more tomorrow about the joys that wait on the other side of the coin.
Because it’s national cat day (who knew?) – I’m sharing this of one of my two babies:
Catch up on every post in the series here: