We know we have an idol when the threat of its removal or being taken from us provokes a strong defensive response. The Spirit of God is always working to convict God’s children that any thing pulling us away from total allegiance to King Jesus is an idol.
So we must choose.
The problem with idols is that they are tricky little things. What starts as an object of affection becomes an object of allegiance. What starts as a meaningful endeavor becomes our meaning. We are subconsciously seduced into a commitment that goes beyond enjoyment or honor, to deep-seated loyalty. What was once adored owns our adoration. It organizes our lives, dictates priorities, or sits in the place of honor above all things.
In the Christian tradition of vices and virtues, idolatry is the outcome of disordered love.
It’s the job we love too much.
It’s the hobby we love too much.
It’s the national symbol we love too much.
We love it so much that we are willing to dehumanize another to protect it. We love it more than our neighbor. Sadly, what we fail to realize is we love it more than our self. Thankfully God loves us more than we realize we need to be loved. He compels, convicts, and sometimes through his beloved community, counsels us to give it up.
But we have to choose.
May we choose wisely.