Universal Idols


Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21
Most of us think of an idol as a statue of wood, stone, or metal worshiped by pagan people. But the concept of idolatry is much broader and far more personal than that. An idol is anything apart from God that we depend on to be happy, fulfilled, or secure.

In biblical terms, it is something other than God that we set our heart on … in short, it is something we love and pursue more than God (see Phil. 3:19).

Adapted from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 104.

Food for Thought


When was the last time you heard a pull-out-the-stops sermon on idols? How about a straight-up-tell-it-like-it-is book on personal idols? What about a conversation over coffee that kinda-sorta-talked about idols?

Maybe every once in a while, but for the most part, we don’t like to talk about idols. As Ken reminds us, they are always something very personal.

The Food For Thought line above usually has a question of some sort to prompt reflection. This time it has nothing but question marks — four to be exact. Allow those four question marks to raise this question, “What are four things, besides God, that your heart is set on?”

In other words, take time and identify four idols in your life. Not your spouse’s life, or your co-worker’s, or your neighbor’s. Your life. Your idols. What are you depending on to be happy, fulfilled, or secure?


1. self

2. son

3. hubby/control /church work

4. hobbies/exercise/me time

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