Monday, March 05, 2012

Broken: Reflection on Idols

Hosea 8:6
“This calf - a craftsman has made it; it is not God.  It will be broken in pieces, that calf of Samaria.” 

God is destroying my biggest idol, me.  Like Israel, I worship that which God created rather than God Himself.  It sounds horribly prideful, and you know what?  It is.  And the sad thing is it’s true.  For all my “insecurities” I claim to have gotten from elementary and adolescent hell, I ultimately see myself as a) the protagonist/hero of my own internal monologue and b) as pretty much the coolest thing since sliced bread.  Oh sure, I know how to play at humility, I know the words to use to alter others opinions of me, but ultimately, I worship me and I want everyone else to do it to!  Even now as I write I struggle with mixed motives and pride.  Do I sound like a horrible person?  Can I let you in on a little secret?  You probably do it too, maybe not to the same horrific degree that I do, but self-worship is still there. 

It started in the garden, really.  Adam and Eve decided that they wanted to be God, that they knew better than He did, that they wanted to decide what was right and wrong rather than allow Him to do so.  And they passed their genetic sin down through the generations.  We’re all born with it and it’s not just a sickness, it’s death.  Each one of us is a stillborn zombie under the distinct and ridiculous illusion that we are, in fact, alive.  I know because I’m the worst.

But by God’s mercy this idol of myself is being broken to pieces.  Years ago I would have admitted to self-worship, but the older I get the more true I see this to be.  The shine from my image fades and rusts daily as God makes me more aware of my sin, my weakness.  I’ve said before that my weakness is a benefit, and I’ll say it again.  The more I realize just how hopeless I am on my own, the more God is glorified in my life and the more useful I become.  My frustration with habitual sin shows me that I can’t conquer it myself, that I need His intervention, and it humbles me when confronted with the sin of others. 

It hurts, but I’m praying that God will continue to smash the idol in my heart and kick me off the throne that rightfully belongs to Him.  How is He doing the same to you?


Kiki said...

It takes a lot of bravery to admit to self-worship. You know why? Because we ALL do it, and that means when someone else is vulnerable and shares weakness, people can go with that sinful self-worshipful part of themselves and judge the other person's vulnerability.

You are right that this is the original struggle from the garden and that we all have it, whether we know about it or not. Thanks for sharing your reflections and being willing to lay it out there!

Renee said...

Thank you for this post. Well said and thought provoking to reflect on my own desires and vulnerabilities.