Being Idle Reveals Idols

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

“Times like these tend to strip away our idols.”

Those words from our financial advisor last week caught me up short. They made me think. A lot.

First off, what’s an idol? I think before I even begin to define it, I need to put something out there that people may or may not agree with. We’re wired to worship. Period. Even if we don’t recognize God for who He is, we have something that holds our highest affection or regard.

For those of us who follow Jesus, we recognize that we’re created by Him. And because He is our Creator, we worship Him. Or we should.

Enter the idols. An idol is anything that we hold with extremely high regard and affection, even above God, so rather than serve Him and worship Him, we wind up serving the idol. It can be anything. A job. Money. Status. Family. Marriage. Church activities. Even children. All of these are good things, many of them blessings and very good. But when we put them above God, we turn them into idols.

Back to the statement by our financial advisor. It started me thinking. Big time. What idols did I have in my life that the slowdown had revealed? One thing I’ve learned over the years is that when I pray to God, He will answer. I prayed to him to reveal these to me. And be careful what you pray for. God was faithful, and He answered.

Two showed up. Don’t worry. I’m sure there’s more, but these were the two He revealed to me: Busyness and my writing.

Busyness. It’s okay to be busy. But I’d come to realize my busyness had begun truly impacting my time with God in the mornings. Over the past couple of years, I’d been more and more consistent in prayer journaling and Scripture reading in the mornings. But what I hadn’t realized until the past few weeks is that my times with God had become surficial, a box to check, something that had begun feeling more like lip service and an obligation than time with my Creator.

Writing. For me, writing is a gift, given by God. But having put out eight novels over the past six years, I’d begun realizing something even before my last one released. I was burned out. I needed a break. I’d planned on taking that break over the Holidays after I finished the final touches on a draft to send to my copy editor. Then I decided to push through with that extra time and revise another manuscript to send to my beta readers before finishing my eighth novel. That landed me square on vacation, April, and May to take a break. And everyone knows what has happened.

Long story short, God has used these past few weeks to show me what some of my idols are. I prayed. He answered, and I’ve repented of these.

As we gradually begin stepping back toward normal, I know what I need to do. I need to take these, pray through them, and ask God to reveal how to avoid letting them become idols again. I know He will.

Why? Because He’s faithful.

When we put even good things above God, we turn them into idols. #authenticity #encouragement Click To Tweet

During these past few weeks, have you noticed anything that may have become an idol in your life?

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