Freed from Idols that Control Us

In 1 John 5:21, the Lord says, “Little children, keep yourself from idols.” The first of the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20:3, says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” While we may no longer be tempted to worship statues of wood or stone, those idols of old represented deep, human desires. Those desires certainly remain. They definitely tempt us. We have to ask, “What’s the sin under the sin?” We have to ask, “Why am I sinning in this way?” Are work or sex or money really the idols we worship, or is there something deeper going on?

We often talk of four deep idols in Karis, idols that seem to vie for our attention and lie underneath at least most of our sins. They are control, approval, comfort, and power. Why do we spend so much time worrying? Maybe we are enslaved to control. Why do we fail to speak up about Jesus at work? Maybe we’re serving the god of approval. Why do we keep grabbing the spoon and the remote? Maybe we’re bowing down to a comfort idol. Why do we keep shoving people down on our way up the corporate ladder? Maybe our deep idol is power.

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Interestingly, each of these idols is addressed by one what we call the "4 Gs." The Christian life is a constant battle against these deep idols that overflow in all kinds of sins that dishonor God and take away our joy.