Tackling the Bigger Problem Beneath Your Biggest Problems

It's Wednesday. Now what? 

 We take a bad thing or a good thing and turn it into a god thing. The better something is, the more likely we are to idolize it.

We take a bad thing or a good thing and turn it into a god thing. The better something is, the more likely we are to idolize it.

On the weekend we saw in Israel's story that the bigger problem beneath our biggest problems is idolatry. 

Idolatry is putting something or someone in the place of God. It becomes our ultimate pursuit and where we go for joy, meaning, peace, security, and identity, but it can't ultimately really give us any of those things. 

So what is the source of our troubles? God is not God for us. It's at the root of every sin. "Idolatry is the tree from which our sins and struggles grow." (Kyle Idleman)

How does this translate into everyday life, into today?

Let me offer three ideas. Try one.

  1. At the end of the day, ask God to reveal whatever it was your heart longed for more than him this day. How did the pursuit of those things impact your attitude and behavior? Now confess. Tell God what was wrong about it. Maybe you need to confess something to someone. A quick message or email or conversation.
  2. Do you tend to idolize your stuff, your money, your kids, your job, your time? Thank God for that which you idolize. Acknowledge the ways it comes from him. If it's not a good thing, then acknowledge what legitimate desires lie at the core of the illicit. Ask him to help you hold this thing more loosely. In your mind, imagine handing it to him. If it's a good thing, enjoy it for his glory. 
  3. For the rest of the day, whatever media you consume, do it differently. Discern the bigger problem beneath the biggest problems you read about, see on the news, watch on TV. What is the idol driving what you see. Someone may be suffering and it may not be what they did per se. But it goes back to what's been done to shape our world. What's the idol? Learn to discern and see the world and your life through new lenses. 

If you're a parent, is this a conversation you need to have around the table or in the car on the way to wherever you're going? Share what you are learning.