We are designed for worship. For all of our rebellion, grasping for more, and desire to rule our own lives – we constantly look for something or someone who will show the way for us. We want a place to lay our affections. Sometimes it’s a relationship, marriage, work, or simply self. Painfully, it is not Jesus often enough.
Every few weeks, I see some form of Calvin’s quote come up on Twitter about how humans are great producers of idols. The best I can tell, the accurate quote is:
“The human mind is, so to speak, a perpetual forge of idols.” Institutes Book I.XI.8-9
I agree. Completely. We are factories for idol-making.
In my book Transformational Discipleship (coauthored with Eric Geiger and Michael Kelley), we wrote about idols. In the book, we wrote that the false gods we trust in never satisfy, and are never satisfied. They leave us hungry and they always hunger for more.
It is critical that we carefully choose where we place our allegiance. After all, we will put it in something or someone. Without looking to Christ, we forge idols instead.
The false gods that we create or choose are poor masters. Those things in which we trust are never satisfied with what we give them. All the work we do is not enough to keep them abated in their demands for more. Any religious affection we offer them will only the appetizer as they await a main course. The false gods of our lives—whether they be religious or just the stuff of Earth—demand our very lives.
In our hopes that they will grant satisfaction, peace, and a sense of purpose, we will find a deep disappointment because they cannot deliver. All of the temporary relationships, work, hobbies, and even our own lives can simply not give us an eternal answer.
The only antidote to idolatry is God and His glory. It is not spiritual disciplines or a new style of ministry. After all, merely changing our mode of Christian life and ministry can be an idol itself. We need the One who is, not the many who are not. Only God does all that is necessary to satisfy His own justice for those who put their faith in Him to be satisfied.
So, whether it be in life, leadership, or stewardship, I hope your life will abound with the glory and grace of God rather than the idols who are forever deaf and dead.