Who or what is my source of meaning and value?
Despite the high highs and the low lows that come from seeking love in the wrong places, we deny this self-defeating emotional roller coaster and continue going after what is easy, enticing, immediate, and comfortable. I doubt we've made a golden calf and worshipped it but I can assure you that you've either had or currently have idols in your life.
We are capable of turning anything or anyone into an idol. For instance, using our talents at work, going to the gym to take care of our bodies, enjoying what we wear is all good! However, when we are willing to throw out our moral compass in order to be promoted or when we go to the gym in order to be enough, or when we wear particular clothes in hopes of gaining attention, it's a sign that we may be dealing with idolatry.
Consider asking yourself the following question, from a place of curiosity and not self-condemnation: who or what is my source of meaning and value?
Is it social acceptance? Beauty? Success? Money? Prestige? Likes? Follows? Something else? God is our source of everything we need but sometimes our hearts believe differently, which may sound like a reason to panic, but let me assure you that it doesn't have to be. Try your best to take this as an opportunity to learn about yourself and grow as a disciple of Christ and as a woman of God. Be gentle and honestly observe yourself, ready to make changes wherever necessary.
One thing to be mindful of is that the root of the problem is not the idol. Remove one idol without getting to the root cause and you'll find another one. That's sometimes why people end up with multiple addictions: because the heart of the matter is not tended to. In both addiction and idolatry, we become disconnected from ourselves, God, and others. They ironically take us away from being genuinely happy and not the kind of happy that quickly falls overboard at soon as there is a gust of wind but a deep sense of knowing we are loved.
A kind of happiness that allows us to enjoy and give to the world and ensures us that we are safe on the boat (Matthew 8:23-27).
There is a reason why idols eventually leave us feeling worse and in desperate need of more, constantly. You can always be richer, more dolled up, more successful, more popular, more knowledgeable… it's an endless and unbeatable battle that is not mean to be fought.
The point of the matter is that it simply doesn’t make sense (nor does it work) to try to find a stable sense of worth, meaning, and joy in things that are subjective, relative, and unstable, and in the hands of anyone else but God.
There is also a reason for why we lean on idols, so I challenge us to lovingly and assertively go deeper into our day-to-day lives and question our motives and our surface-level desires so that we can come to know ourselves, God and others on a new and deeper level.
What is it that I am really looking for?
Right here with you on this one <3
(1) C.S Lewis quote mentioned in an interview between Jason Evert & Christopher West: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUHH2zm_rho