When You Make Idols, You End Up Like Them


How can even healthy things become idols in our lives?

“Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them.” (Psalm 115:8 GW)

I mentioned in yesterday’s devotional that everyone trusts in something. We can even make good things — like our marriages, our families, or even our ministries in the church — into idols.

But trusting in things other than God can have devastating effects upon our lives. If we think who we’re with or what we do will make us totally fulfilled, we’re setting ourselves up for deep disappointment. The Bible reminds us of this in Jeremiah when he says, “Those who make idols are disillusioned” (Jeremiah 10:14 GNT).

But we do it all the time with our careers, relationships, and bank accounts. We act as if those created things give us meaning in life.

And when we do that, we’re just setting ourselves up for failure. The Bible says, “The poor, deluded fool … trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask: ‘Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?’” (Isaiah 44:20 NLT, second edition)

Oh, yes, those idols are lies. Sadly, idols don’t just stop after they’ve disappointed us though. Eventually, they enslave us, too.

The Bible says, “Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them” (Psalm 115:8 GW). Whatever you value the most in life, you’re going to become like. If you value money, you’ll eventually become a materialist. If you value pleasure, you’ll become a hedonist. If you value works, you’ll become a pragmatist. If you value above all else Jesus Christ, you’ll become a Christian.

So if putting something else first in our lives warps us, why do we do it?

We want a god we can control. We want to be able to manage him. If we make money our god, we feel as if we can control it. If we make other people our gods, we set out to control them. It makes us feel better.

But we can’t control God. He says, “Don’t reduce me. Don’t try to fit me into your lifestyle. Don’t try to control me.”

Talk It Over

How have you seen other people set up idols in their lives that eventually dominated them?

How can even healthy things become idols in our lives?

What do you need to let go of your control of so that it is not an idol in your life?

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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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