Painful but important questions to ask yourself

A few years ago, I heard Dr. Ed Stetzer speak. He said there are certain topics that everybody is interested in:  

1. Sex

2. The “end times”

3. Will we have sex in the end times?

Well, in this post we’re not going to talk about any of these three; but, rather, another topic which gets a lot of air/blogtime: ”Idolatry.” It might not be as interesting as sex or end time discussions, but it certainly is relevant to a vibrant, intimate and growing relationship with Jesus leading to fruitful ministry.

We are all worshippers and worship someone or something(s).  When we allow anything in place of Jesus at the center of our worship, the Bible calls this “worshipping idols” or idolatry.

The apostle John in his 1st letter, chapter five, verse 21 says: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” Years ago I ran across this in the Living Bible and it says: “…keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your heart.”

Generally speaking, people and things take God’s place in our heart. But how would you identify those people or things to see if they indeed have become the center of your affections and attention to the point of taking the place of Jesus?

Here is a list of questions to help us in idol identification. 

These honest and soul-searching questions admittedly may be painful and uncomfortable, but it’s better than self-destructing down the road somewhere.

Carefully and prayerfully look at each one, and be open to enemies of Jesus and His gospel which become clear to you.

These questions are adapted from some thoughts by Mark Driscoll and Tim Keller:

1. What am I most afraid of?

2. What are the primary things I spend my money on outside of necessities?

3. What do I long for most passionately?

4. Where do I run to for comfort?

5. What do I complain about most?

6. What makes me happiest?

7. How do I explain myself to other people?

8. What has caused me to be angry with God?

9. What do I brag about?

10. What do I want to have more than anything else?

11. What do I sacrifice the most for in my life?

12. If I could change one thing about my life, what would it be?

13. Whose approval am I seeking?

14. What do I want to control/master?

15. What comfort do I treasure most?

How about taking one or two insights you received and seek His help in dealing with current or potential idols?