The definition of idol is – an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.
In the old testament people worshipped idols instead of God. Many times they would sacrifice to these idols. Sometimes they would even go so far as to sacrifice babies or children.
As I was reading through the old testament I questioned myself. What was it that I had elevated to idol status in my life?
Is my home an idol?
I have a beautiful home which I enjoy tremendously. Although I bought it new in 2007, it seems as if I am always working on some kind of project. This year I hope to replace a large amount of lighting and put an additional patio in my backyard.
Whenever I am doing a project in my home I always ask for my daughter’s approval. She has such a sense of style. She can visualize just what a room needs to make it look stellar. This gives me an excuse to have her come over quite often. I love having her over and working on projects together.
My home is an avenue of ministry
One of my friends came over for brunch on my patio and said that my home had the feeling of a sanctuary. It is that for me. It is where I worship my God and welcome my friends for fellowship.
My home is also a business enterprise. My upstairs is designed for guests. My daughter encouraged me to open my guest bedrooms to tenants on Airbnb. The Holy Spirit was in agreement with this idea.
I had no idea how much I would love sharing my home. It has been the most fantastic experience of my life! I have only hosted a small amount of people, because it is illegal in my city to do short term rentals. However, the people that God has directed my way have been the best I could have hoped for.
One of the things I enjoy most about being an Airbnb hostess is that I try to treat my guests as Christ would. It is easy to say your a Christian when you just go to church on Sundays. It is a much greater challenge and twice as much fun when you try to live every moment of your day as a witness to the Lord.
Because of the way I use my home I would not say that it is an idol in my life. It gives me tremendous joy and satisfaction but I don’t feel as if it impedes my worship. I would say, it rather enhances my relationship with God.
Is an idol always a thing?
I may not idolize things because, by nature, I am not materialistic. However, last year I had a problem idolizing pain from the bullying I suffered as a teenager.
It started when I went back to my hometown and visited my brother’s church. One of my classmates mentioned that I had never attended a high school reunion.
The reason why I don’t attend reunions of any kind is that I don’t live in the past. The other reason is that I was bullied. I also didn’t care much for my classmates. Of all the people in the world, they are on the bottom of the list of people I want to see again… ever.
This one conversation seemed to open a wound in my memory which I thought had long been healed. So I wrestled with this for close to a year. Wondering why a God that was good could have let this happen?
The emotional pain of being bullied became like an idol to me. I relived the pain. I cried more tears. I shared my pain with several friends.
They reacted with surprise when I told them I had been bullied. Their response was such a balm to my wound. The fact that they didn’t think I had ever been bullied revealed that my wound was not visible to others. Yet it still festered inside my mind and my heart.
When I reflect on my childhood there were some happy memories. However, there was always a feeling that I didn’t belong in that town. Those who bullied me confirmed that intuition. They were the ones who forced me out of the cage of that small town.
Sometimes I suffer the feeling of not belonging. When that happens I pray about it. I realize and accept the fact that God does not need me to be everyone’s friend. What He does need, is for me to consider him my best friend.