What do you think of when you hear the word idols? Eastern religious statues or the famous world-wide TV show popularised by Simon Cowell?

Whatever your answer I want to show you how essential understanding our own personal idols and removing them are to learning to dance with wisdom.

 There are many secular and religious examples of idols. Indeed more than 500 years ago Martin Luther described the human heart as ‘an idol factory’. What did he mean by that? Is such a statement still relevant to us in our modern age? I very much think it is.

Perhaps the simplest explanation of idolatry is that we are continually looking for something to give us ultimate meaning, purpose and significance. We may not be even consciously aware that is what we are doing. Our hearts are continually putting weight and significance on objects and desires that cannot ultimately deliver all we long and hope for. Our worldwide economy can often seem based on our hunger to buy more and more to satisfy deep longings. As someone has humorously said, “We buy what we don’t want with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even like!”

The atheist American author and professor of English David Foster Wallace surprisingly calls this insatiable desire for more as worship. When we worship someone or something we give it our committed attention and focus. Its where our minds go to when we have nothing in particular to think about. So worship is primarily an attitude of the heart seeking rest and consolation.

Do join my cohost Elliott Frisby and I as we unpack this and discuss:

  • the attraction of idolatry
  • how it cannot ultimately satisfy
  • how the finiteness of this world causes us to yearn for something this world can ultimately never fulfil.
  • the big 3 idols of money, sex and power.
  • how an important wisdom skill is the ability to recognise when I am veering into idolatry
  • how the path of wisdom includes following your fears and frustrations to unmask those idols controlling you.

In the words of Don Carson, “We must eschew the abominable idolatry of thinking that the universe must dance to our tune.” Do you agree or disagree? Why? Do let me know.

Life’s challenges can diminish, define or develop you. Which will it be? The choice is yours through wisdom. Make sure you choose the right one.

Listen to the 25 minute conversation below to explore this more.

You can also watch on YouTube here

What questions, thoughts or comments does the question of idols raise for you?