My friend, Barb Raveling, wrote this blog post for her own blog and it appeared on Tuesday at her website. I asked her if I could share it with you. She modified the 2nd day in the Idolatry chapter in her printed workbook, Freedom From Emotional Eating.
HEAL Group Session 3 will be shared tomorrow here at the blog.
I still remember the words of a successful agent at a writer’s conference: “Money changes people. I’ve only met a couple of Christian writers who haven’t been negatively affected by success.”
That’s a little scary.
Everyone tells us to pursue our dreams, but no one tells us to make sure we keep God first while pursuing them.
I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year this time around, but it didn’t take long to see how easy it would be to make writing an idol.
Living the American Dream
If you’re pursuing a goal, you know what I mean. It’s easy to become consumed by it.
And while the goal itself might be wonderful–a way to love God and others–it still has the potential to mess us up. If we’re not careful, it will lead us away from God.
God has convicted me that this is something I need to work on in my own life once again, so I thought I might as well blog about it! Future posts will deal with how to break free from idolatry. But before we can break free, we need to know what our idols are.
I’ve been talking about the idolatry of a goal, but there are a million different potential idols out there: recreation, exercise, work, the Internet, relationships, approval of others, excitement, television, food, and avoiding conflict, just to name a few.
Here are a few questions to help you determine whether or not you have any idols:
Do You Have an Idol? – Quiz
1. What do you feel like you have to have to be happy?
2. What do you think about in the middle of the night or when you first wake up in the morning?
3. What do you spend a lot of time on each day?
4. What do you worry about?
5. What would you have a hard time giving up for a month?
6. What do you do when you’re depressed or stressed out?
7. What do you do to avoid doing the things you don’t want to do?
8. In what areas of your life, do you experience your greatest struggles?
9. Where do your feelings of self worth come from?
10. What do you escape to when you’re having a hard time in life?
11. What do people tell you that you spend too much time on?
12. What do you hide from others?
13. What do you talk about too much?
14. What could you not live without?
When you finish answering the questions, glance back over your answers. Do you see anything popping up more than once on the list? The more often you see it on your list, the more likely it’s an idol.
If you’d like to work on getting rid of that idol, join me for future blog posts.
I love how practical Barb is. She does a great job at tackling bad habits, ways of thinking, and doing something about them to bring them under Christ’s submission. She is extremely effective at teaching us how to do this, too. I hope you will put her website in your favorites.
Now, let’s bring her questions home to where we are here at this blog, shall we? 🙂 Ask God to give you courage.
Is there any chance that “getting thin” has become an idol in your life? If you were going to help Barb 🙂 write her next blog post about this subject, what would you do to address the possibility that the goal of being thin might be an idol?
I am eager to hear from you. 🙂
Wow, this is challenging to think about. I have struggled with putting food in it’s place, to have it not be an idol in my heart. I want for God to be on the throne. I do not think being thin is an idol for me. I gave up on being thin a long time ago. However, food can be an idol for me. It consumes my thoughts at times. This verse comes to my mind when I struggle with thoughts of food.
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Thank you for making me think about what are things in my life I put in God’s place. Today I choose to serve God. I place him on his throne and not food.
Joshua 24:15 NIV
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord .”
Joyce, so glad that thin isn’t an idol for you. In our society, it sure is a challenge. Yes, I can relate to food being an idol. Especially sweet foods, I think. Thanks for sharing those verses, Joyce!
For many years, being/staying thin was an idol for me. Healthy food and exercise, at that time, were also idols. I thank God that I was told about Thin Within 2 years ago. The book and especially the workbooks revealed to me what I was worshipping and since then I’ve made great strides in changing my focus. However, becoming thin again can still become too important to me and I sometimes catch myself thinking about my appearance too much.
I used to wake up thinking of my workout and/or my meal plan for that day. Now, I wake up thinking about God because I pray as I go to sleep. The Lord has healed me in so many ways, but it is still taking an effort to renew my mind. As I was writing in my journal today, I noted how often my thoughts are still on my weight. So, I am now making an effort to change my thought focus (“take captive every though”) from me and my body. When I find that my thoughts are on “me, me, me” I will think about – praise or pray. I can pray for my accountability partner, my family, you all, a friend in need, etc. I can look at my God list or recite scripture.
In my scripture notebook ( a little spiral book of index cards) I have 2 corinth. 10:5 ( see Joyce’s entry above) and under it I have Phil 4:8 –
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Sorry to be rambling….
So glad to hear it CMK. Isn’t he just so faithful? It really is wonderful how loving and caring he is about us individually. And he is also sanctifying us so much. I am so thankful for that.You aren’t rambling at all! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and the scripture, too!
I’m learning to relax more about the scale and trust the Lord…Just resting in his arms and cease from my works and efforts. It’s all about His GRACE NOT WORKS! Keeping my mind on the things of God in heaven and not on this earth beneath.
Today I had a good day in the Lord, not so worried about my next meal and when I was going to eat and what I was going to eat. Just waiting on the Holy Spirit to lead me and guide me in my hunger signals. Tonight we had our fish stick and mix vegies…was very satisfying. I enjoyed my husband and I conversation while we shared our meal together and enjoyed the beautiful view from our dinning room table. I’m enjoying my meal more and I was relaxed while I ate. It felt so good! 🙂 Feeling God’s peace and Love in my heart. God is so good to us all. So loving and patient with us His children.
I am resting more in the Lord, not to be hopping on that old scale every day. I weigh my self Just once a week now and this week God blessed me with a GEM of 1 pound RELEASED! I was Thankful to the God for His GRACE and MERCY on me this week.
Even though I have not been perfect at the 0-5 eating, He has worked with me to not BEAT my self up, but just ENJOY THE RIDE! We are on our way to healing and wholeness in Christ Jesus our LORD. This is a way of eating for life and a wonderful Journey in Christ Jesus our LORD.
I am so thrilled at what my Savior and LORD is doing in my heart. It is not just the Releasing the weight that matters…It is RELEASING the STRONG HOLDS IN MY HEART! Strong holds of; FEAR, SELFISHNESS, ANGER, LUST, GREED.
NOT TRUSTING GOD FOR HIS PROVISIONS, PUTING TRUST IN MAN AND NOT GOD. Over and over again God has shown us His provisions and faithfulness. He is teaching us to trust in Him in all area’s of our lives. Not just with food, but with clothing, shelter, and our daily needs emotionally and spiritually. He want all My heat not just pieces of it. He want ALL MY HEART!
As we know God’s word tell us that; ” Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but he who trust in the LORD will be kept safe” Praise His Holy and Awesome name. Amen. : )
Wow, Jamie. Sounds like a “Perfect Meal Experience” like the one described in the Thin Within book. So glad you are experiencing progress in all respects, Jamie. That is great. Yes…there is NO condemnation for us in Christ. This is a journey with hills and valleys. Holding our longing for “perfection” loosely is a great strategy.
Funny, when I answered these questions, I had the usual suspects like food, weightloss, and people pleasing tendencies, but things that snuck into my list and I didn’t even think about being idols are my attachment to my loved ones and my to-do list. I feel convicted about my “to do list” being an idol… I need to turn my “to do” list into his “to do” list, not sure mopping the floors after a full day of work are top of HIS “to do” list, so I’m guessing that the quality family time he has in store is better for all of us. He never ceases to amaze me.