Monday, March 21, 2011

How to Identify Your Idols

David Powlison's list of questions in Seeing With New Eyes are good for a diagnostic test on our lives now and again to help us identify idols.
1. What do I worry about most?

2. What, if I failed or lost it, would cause me to feel that I did not even want to live?

3. What do I use to comfort myself when things go bad or get difficult?

4. What do I do to cope? What are my release valves? What do I do to feel better?

5. What preoccupies me? What do I daydream about?

6. What makes me feel the most self-worth? Of what am I the proudest? For what do I want to be known?

7. What do I lead with in conversations?

8. Early on what do I want to make sure that people know about me?

9. What prayer, unanswered, would make me seriously think about turning away from God?

10. What do I really want and expect out of life? What would really make me happy?

11. What is my hope for the future?


Bill Blair said...

We need to add the following: What do you tweet about the most? Going along with the whole wherever your tweets are so is your treasure thing. ;-)

rdsmith3 said...

These are helpful. Also, there is a chapter on idols in the book "The Peacemaker," by Ken Sande, with some x-ray questions that one should ask to uncover idols. A summary is here:

Lore said...

Chandler read this list of questions in his sermon at The Village this weekend, on the last few verses in Habakkuk chapter 2. I'd recommend listening to it in conjunction with this list of questions. I don't think it's online yet, but should be in a few days. In fact, I'd recommend listening to the entire Habakkuk series--it's been right on the entire time!

Anonymous said...

Incredibly revealing questions. Thanks Jared.

Virgil Dunbar said...

These all pertain to idols that break the First Commandment. Please give us Scriptural help from Romans 1.23 identifying idols that break the Second Commandment.

Jared said...

If you keep the first commandment, you will keep 2-10.

Tait said...

@Bill Blair, you're right! What do you post on (insert any social networking tool) the most about?

Crista said...

My answers didn't lead me anywhere that I can tell. The answers all revolved around loved ones, friends/FB, my job, getting by financially, and travel. I already gave up the obvious bad habits in life and didn't substitute new ones.

Relating to social media, I post about politics, religion, gardening and psychology/sociology.

Does any of this mean anything?

Beat Attitude said...

People don't realise that you can still idolise good things. You can idolise your family, friends, looking after people, preparing for retirement...The idolatry comes in when you worry about these things, because your worry reveals that you are not trusting God...implicitly saying "God, I know you said you would save me, but I don't trust you enough to name the terms."

It's not the worry itself which is the sin: it is the underlying mistrust of God, which is nothing less than a denial of his sovereignty.

Worth reading Tim Keller's "Counterfeit Gods" to explore this idea.

Randall said...

I turn to food when I'm stressed. That's my idol.

I think the comments about what one tweets about or posts to FB may be true for a few, but it's a gross generalization that cannot be globally applied. I tweet daily to drive traffic to my blog ands the new resources on my organization's web site, but neither are idols in my heart. It is part of my work.