It's Time To Heal Your Idols
by Alia Fisher
While God has designed us to receive love and intimacy through other people, relationships can become an idol or obsession in which we begin to covet the gift rather than the Giver. What is an idol and why do we turn to them? Idols are really anything, other than God, that we pursue in order to feel better about life and relieve our pain. Relationships, drugs, pleasure, food, our kids….these can all be idols. They are powerful aphrodisiacs which take up much of our focus. They compete with God for first place in our hearts. While we ultimately need to repent and release these things to God and put Him first again, God is far from condemning you for your desperate attempts at comforting yourself. You might be laden with guilt, feeling that God could not possibly love you or approve of you anymore, now that you have been unfaithful to Him. Surely, you think, He will not forgive me for having an idol. Think again! That is the farthest thing from the truth about God.
Isaiah 51:3 – The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.
Thankfully we have a heavenly Father who knows our deepest hurts and looks at us through lenses of compassion so that He sees us differently than we deserve. He knows that we have been wounded by other people growing up. He knows that we do not intentionally want to dishonor Him, but that we are compelled by pain. The problem is that as kids, most of us were blocked from grieving the hurts we sustained. We either didn’t have the permission, the necessary wisdom, or the ability to mourn what happened to us. Then over time, we dismiss our painful experiences. We are hard on ourselves, thinking we should just be able to “get over it”. But a wound that is not revisited by Jesus Christ Himself, is one that can’t be healed. The unfortunate results are bad habits, addictions, and false comforters that keep us from having the freedom that God can give us.
Jesus wants to be our Comforter and Healer. He wants to help us discover the freedom of healing and the freedom of having nothing take God’s place that doesn’t satisfy. Matthew 9:36 says, “When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd”. If you think that God will not forgive you for turning from Him, think again. He is waiting for you with open arms and no judgement. He is gracious and forgiving and wants to give us His love freely and lavishly. So how do we open our hurts up to Him? First, by confessing and asking forgiveness for depending on an idol. Second, by simply asking Him in prayer to enter those memories and feelings. Third, by giving yourself permission to grieve your hurts from the past. Fourth, by seeking out a Christian counselor or friend who can journey with you through the process. Facing your wounds head-on with Christ will transform them and then you will naturally be able to let go of your coveted idol and glorify God with your whole heart.
Alia Fisher is the wife of Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D. She's passionate about Jesus and helping others experience His amazing love and grace.Her devotionals can be found at https://www.christiancrush.com/topics/Devotionals
What do you turn to instead of Jesus and what changes do you want to make this week?