GUEST AUTHOR: TIFFANY MATHEW
SERIES: IDOLATRY DEFINED | THE IDOL OF POWER | THE IDOL OF CONTROL | The Idol of Comfort
RECAP: Idolatry is rampant in our hearts today whether we realize it or not. At the end of the day, idolatry is at the root of all our sin. The Bible defines idolatry as putting something that is created in a higher place of worth than the only One who is not created: God. When analyzing our sin, we come to the conclusion that there are four root idols:
POWER, CONTROL, COMFORT, AND APPROVAL.
Have you ever done a presentation or performance and afterward had person after person compliment you – but when that ONE person said something negative you felt a pang of pain in your heart? Do you start questioning friendships if someone doesn’t text you back? Do you feel unloved because you are single? Is the motivation behind your words and actions mainly based on what other people think about you?
If you can relate to the above scenarios then you might be struggling with an approval idol.
Out of all the idols we have discussed this week, the Idol of Approval has been present in my life since I was a kid. To be completely honest, the first 18 years of my life I never had my own identity. I prided myself in being a chameleon – being able to blend in and change who I was to fit in with different people groups. I liked to think it was because I was such a “people person,” someone with the ability to become friends with anyone. In reality, I was just changing my actions and beliefs so that I could be accepted.
I strongly believe that Approval Idols are why Christianity has such a bad rep. People view us as hypocrites because though the Bible teaches a specific lifestyle, sometimes when we’re amongst our non-Christian friends, we refuse to stand up for the teachings of Christ. Why? Because we don’t want to be THAT judgmental Christian, because we just want to fit in and have fun.
That was me, and I can tell you that every decision I made was based off of what other people would think of me – from the way that I walked to the way that I worshiped. What was acceptable? Would people think I am trying too hard? Is this going to make them not like me? Will they still love me if they found out?
The most restricting and unfulfilling way to live is to live with with an Idol of Approval because approval from the world is so fickle and unsatisfying.
Fighting my Idol of Approval is a daily battle for me. Every day I have to pray the following:
- Lord, let every decision I make today be to further your Kingdom, not my own reputation (Colossians 3:23).
- Even when others might not love me, help me never forget that you loved me first and to the fullest (1 John 3:1).
- Help me to stand for your teachings and not compromise even if it means losing friendships (Philippians 1:27).
- No matter what, help me to remember that my identity is in Christ and not in the approval of others (Galatians 2:20).
As I continue to fight this battle I see God working in little ways.
You know that you are repenting from an Idol of Approval when:
- Someone’s negative comments don’t unravel you because you know that Jesus loves you regardless
- You refuse to compromise your purity because you value the approval of your God and Father over the acceptance of your boyfriend/girlfriend
- You stand firm on the values of Christ in the face of social rejection because Christ is all that you need.
- In the process of making a decision, your first question is “How would this glorify God?,” instead of what your peers would think.
As you go through life, be aware of what motivates you. As you struggle and battle with sin, find the root reason for why you keep coming back to that sin. Only when we identify the idols in our lives can we start taking the steps towards repentance.
Identify. Confess. Seek accountability.
At the end of the day let these words be your anthem:
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. | Matthew 6:33