Do You Have an Idol Hidden in Your Closet?

Just about the time I started writing the Hosea Bible Study, I became obsessed with social media.

I went from never noticing how many friends I had on Facebook to obsessively checking my number of friends and likes daily… somedays, even several times a day… okay, way too many times a day!

piclab

The reason the number mattered to me was because I was basing my identity and acceptance on how many friends, shares, and comments I had on Facebook.

My way out-of-control desire for acceptance revealed that I had rejected my identity in Christ and was erecting an idol instead.

An out-of-control desire for acceptance reveals that I have rejected my identity in Christ.
[Click to Tweet]
Often, we think of idols as animate objects like food or money. But, idols don’t have to be visible. Sometimes, the most powerful idols are the ones no one can see. Popularity, perfectionism, or an inflated need for acceptance are all idols that demand our devotion when we give them power in our lives.

We are too valuable to give ourselves to a shallow, selfish idol that will never meet our needs.

And, our God deserves more, doesn’t He? So, let’s do some idol identification!

Here are 6 D’s to determine if you have an idol…

1. Desire:

Sometimes, the most powerful idols are the ones no one can see.
[Click to Tweet]
Think about what you want… really, really want. You want it so badly you can’t imagine not having it. It may be something you already have, but you feel a tinge of fear when you think of losing it.

Ask yourself, “If I had to choose between faithfulness to Jesus and that person, or thing, would the struggle be difficult for me?”

Is there a person that I absolutely cannot and will not live without? Is there something I want, like security or acceptance, that I will do whatever it takes to get?

If you can’t do without it, it may be an idol.

2. Dwell:

We are too valuable to give ourselves to an idol that will never meet our needs.
[Click to Tweet]
Think about what you think about!

Ask yourself, “Do my thoughts create an idol or confirm my identity?” What is it that you think about a lot… dwell on? It’s less like day dreaming about how much you love and want it, and more like obsessing on how to get it, do it, have it, or what it would be like if you lost it.

On what do your thoughts most often dwell?

Whatever we think about most is, in effect, serving as our god. That means, if we are always on our own minds… bingo! We can so easily become our own idol.

If it’s the first and most frequent thing on your mind, chances are it’s an idol.

3. Defend:

Whatever we think about most is, in effect, serving as our god.
[Click to Tweet]
Do you tend to defend, make excuses, or justify your actions?

“It’s not so bad.” “It could be worse.” “Everybody’s doing it.” “I deserve this.”

If you use rationalizations, you’re probably dealing with an idol.

Ask yourself, “If someone questions this thing I have, want, or do, am I offended or threatened? Do I defend my obsession?”

Your response when questioned will be a clue to know if you are dealing with an idol.

4. Dedicate:

Ask yourself, “What is it that I do, pursue, or think about that I am committed to?

What you are really dedicated to rarely requires much discipline. It’s what you do and how you think.

What in your life do you find a way to make happen, even if it requires secrecy or sacrifice?

Midnight eating, stashing away cash, hiding what you read or watch… whatever it takes. Those just might be clues to recognizing you have an idol or an idol in the making.

If you find a way to make it happen, even if it requires secrecy or sacrifice, it may be an idol.

5. Deny:

If you find a way to make it happen, even if it requires secrecy or sacrifice, it may be an idol.
[Click to Tweet]
If people notice or question you, do you deny what you are doing, thinking about, or wanting?

Oh friend, we’re as sick as our secrets.

We won’t hide something if we have nothing to hide.

What you are denying may be disclosing your idol.

If you have to deny what you are doing, thinking about, or wanting, you may be trying to hide an idol.

6. Depend:

If you need it to complete you, it competes with God. And, anything that competes with God is an idol.
[Click to Tweet]
Ask yourself, “What do I depend on to make me feel complete or content?”

Is there something or someone, other than or along with God, you rely on to get your identity needs met? Is there something or someone, other than or along with God, you rely on to make you feel important or content? On what do you depend?

If it is your “old faithful” that you run to for a quick fix, chances are you’ve got an idol.

So, those are 6 D’s for you to prayerfully consider to help you diagnose if you have an idol, but, really I can sum it up with this:

If you feel you need it to complete you, it competes with God.

And, anything that competes with God is an idol.

Oh Lord, show us our idols so we can denounce them. You are the Lover of our souls. You are the only true God. We choose you over ourselves and our silly mini-gods. Forgive us. We will never say, “these are our gods” to what our hands have made. For in you, the fatherless find compassion. (Hosea 14:3)

The 6 D’s to Identifying Idols
[Click to Tweet]
Part of this blog is an excerpt from my latest Bible Study, Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything available May 1. If you want to go deeper with this subject, I’d love to recommend this Bible Study to you. Watch the promotional video below to learn more about Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything.

Question: Which of these D’s speak the most to you? Has God revealed any idols in your life that you would be willing to share with all of us?

Join the conversation in my JenniFriends Facebook group!