June 19, 2013

The Blessing of Leaving an Idol Behind

Last Sunday, one of our Sunday School mentors talked about idols.

And no, not statues of Buddha or Krishna or other gods. Other idols in our lives: money, a home, a car, TV, marriage, etc.

Basically, anything that we're depending on for happiness or security -- instead of depending on God.

As he talked, an image of my idol -- one I've tried hard to leave behind, but that keeps finding it's way onto my shelf -- appeared in my mind.

For me, it's recognition.

I've struggled my whole life with wanting to be the best. With wanting affirmation from others. Because if I get affirmation from others, that means I'm a good person, and I'm worthy, right?

Wrong-o!

Interestingly, I thought about a writing contest I'd entered. One that I was awaiting results on that very weekend. A major contest that would affirm what I was doing. That would tell me I'm worthy.

In that moment, God asked me to lay down my desire to final in that contest. For a second, I struggled...because what did it mean if I didn't final?

Then, when I finally said, "Your will, God," I felt such peace about it flow through me. What a blessing.

An even bigger blessing came not three hours later when I received a phone call informing me that I had in fact finaled in the contest. I was floored...not only that I had finaled, but that God's timing was perfect.

If I'd gotten the call before I'd surrendered to God's will, the effect on my heart would have been very different, I know.

I'm so grateful to him for everything I have, and I'm learning -- one contest, one book, one DAY at a time -- to trust in HIM for my identity. Because it's not what I do or how I'm recognized that matters.

All that matters is how HE sees me.

And that's enough.

Your Turn: What idols have you struggled with in the past? If you don't want to get personal, what idols do you see society in general struggling with?

* I'm taking a weeklong break from blogging, since next week I'll be visiting some good friends for a writing retreat in Minnesota! But the blog will be back next Friday (6/28) with a guest post from my lovely friend, Ashley Clark. I just know you'll be blessed.

**Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

10 comments:

  1. I saw that picture you used for real so many times in Thailand. Breaks my heart.

    Vanity/body image is a huge issue. I'm going through this with a young loved one right now.

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    1. I struggle with that one myself at times. It really is so prevalent in our society!

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  2. It takes a lot of guts to admit that recognition is your idol. Most people would pick just about anything else, but honestly analyzing our idols is so important if we are to turn them over to God for de-throning. I love how you hit life and real topics head on, Lindsay. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Donna. I sometimes second-guess whether my transparency is too overwhelming, but I think people appreciate honesty. And it's good for me to be transparent because it checks my pride at the door.

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  3. Definitely the idol of my own perceived achievements. Which is so silly, really, when what I think is my achievement is always, really, God's. :) Thanks for this today, Linz!

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    1. It's totally God's!! We couldn't do it without him.

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  4. Made me cry! Thank you for such a gut-wrenching, honest post, Lindsay! We've all been there!

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    1. Oh, I'm sorry to make you cry, Cindy, but I appreciate YOUR honesty in return. :)

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  5. I've always idolized my dreams. If I could have this, if I could do that, if I could achieve this, if, if, if...then I'd be happy. As God has given me each of these dreams, I've come to realize I still want more. There's a yearning in my soul for something else--and that something else has always been Him. He's shown me that I will be content with what I have, and what I don't have, as long as I yearn for more of Him.

    I love that God brought you to a place of surrender before He revealed His plan. :)

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    1. You're so right. If we can focus on that...that the dreams are good, but they're nothing compared with knowing him...we can be content.

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