Have you ever eaten at a great restaurant and just could not stop telling people about it? Or maybe you have a lawnmower or a vacation spot or truck or, whatever, that’s just been really useful and not at all a stretch to say was actually life changing? Well that’s what recently happened to me as I was reading the book What do you Think of Me, and Why do I Care? by Ed Welch. It was life changing. Why? ….Happy to answer you.
Basically it opened my eyes to the realization that my heart is constantly busy looking for something to worship. Well, worship God you silly Christian, you may be thinking. There was a time when I would have told you He was all I worshiped, but I would have been deeply mistaken. You see I came to realize (sadly, then repentantly) my idol of choice that I worshiped had arms, legs, words, and it’s called people—more appropriately—the acceptance and approval of other people. The idols often change shape. They can be in the form of money, grades, possessions, attractiveness, children’s behaviors, job status, marital happiness—the list goes on. What these idols all have in common is the way they take control of your heart and how desperate we can become for them to make us feel approved and accepted. The “approval grip” can squeeze our hearts and become our deepest longing and desire… why do you think Facebook is so popular?
So, this may not ring true with you and if that’s what you’re thinking you need to be checked for a pulse because we ALL suffer from it, don’t simply believe me—just ask the Lord to search your heart, King David did.
The Bible calls this idolatry the “fear of man” and it is a great trap and it is as old as mankind and it runs deep in all of us. Remember Israel in the desert with the golden calf?
So now what? Well, there is a way of escape. (Isn’t that just like our God, the constant rescuer?) It’s to begin exchanging the fear of man for the amazing and heart filling, never ending fear of God. That’s why Solomon ends Ecclesiastes with this “Here is the end of all things, fear God and keep His commands.” Sounds easy enough, until you look a bit deeper, and looking deeper into my idol ridden heart is exactly what I’ve been doing ever since reading this book. I’m learning through the power of the Holy Spirit to crave and desire my heart to be full of God’s amazing “awe-fear” more than anything, or anyone else. And you know what, He’s answering me. What my “people idols” said or did once would have rocked me to my core and emotionally derailed me in more ways than I care to even admit. Now, amazingly, peoples’ words and thoughts towards me only sting a bit. I’ve gone from a shark bite to a paper cut, because God truly is a good, good Father, who does good and is good.
By Jamie Moore