We live in an idol driven culture. Idolatry came with the entrance of sin. In fact, Martin Luther said, “Under every behavioral sin is the sin of idolatry.” If this is true, and I believe it is, this should forever change how we look at sin. Recently, at Lifeway’s Employee Chapel I had the privilege to talk about four root idols.
Christian leaders Tim Keller, David Powlison, and Dick Keyes have written much more extensively and eloquently on the idols beneath the surface, but here is a snapshot of four root idols that drive our behavior:
- Power: a longing for influence or recognition
- Control: a longing to have everything go according to my plan
- Comfort: a longing for pleasure
- Approval: a longing to be accepted or desired
Which of these idols resonates with you? Mentally walk through a day as a kids minister. Inevitably, you struggle with these four idols yourself, and you will work with kids and volunteers who struggle with these idols too. It is a universal human experience that we must learn to address and for which we need to seek repentance.
I do not repent of my idolatry by looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself I can displace it with my own energy, might, or goodness. I repent by remembering the Great God who is above all gods. We can repent of our longing for:
- Power by submitting to His greater power within me [Ephesians 5:18]
- Control by surrendering to His ultimate control [Ecclesiastes 3:12-14]
- Comfort by remembering He is the greater comfort [II Corinthians 1:3-4]
- Approval by rejoicing in His gracious approval [Galatians 3:13; Numbers 6:24-26]
I hope this challenges you personally and in your ministry. I encourage you to teach your kids what it means to struggle with these root idols. They too can learn to practice repentance from idols by focusing on the worthiness of God.
About the Guest Blogger:
Eric Geiger received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric has authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church.
Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.