Friday, 1 May 2015

Idols and Infatuations

I just finished reading a brilliant book by Timothy Keller titled "Counterfeit Gods - The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters". It is really good. You should go read it.

I realised how even things like ministry success can become an idol even though we profess to be serving God. It is not God that we are seeking, it is recognition instead. So we've gotta be careful. "All good things can become idols", Keller declares.

A useful chapter at the end tells us 4 ways we can spot the idols in our lives.

#1: If we think about it all the time
#2: If we spend too much money on it
#3: How we respond to unanswered prayers and frustrated hopes
#4: Our most uncontrollable emotions

That set me thinking. My infatuations have been people I couldn't get out of my head. And it was rather uncontrollable. They just invaded my thoughts. I knew that that was something I did not want. They might be idols, but they weren't those I actively cultivated as far as I knew.

In any case, what I found most helpful about Timothy Keller's book was the solution he offered. We cannot just get rid of idols. Something else would pop up to take their place. We need to replace an idol with something else. And that something else is Jesus Christ.

When I apply that to myself, I realise that I have to replace my infatuations with Jesus Christ. Because ultimately, they cannot fulfill me. I might find pleasure and enjoyment through their company, but they won't satisfy my deepest needs. Those of complete affirmation, of validating my identity, and of unconditional love. Only God can do that.

Infatuations can certainly turn into love, but even a lover cannot replace God.

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