Idol.

God is jealous.
He’s not a big fan of anything taking His place as the captivator of our hearts.
Even good and holy things.

Yeah, read that one again:
Even good and holy things can become idols.

Anytime we place greater value on the gift than on the Giver, we’ve seriously overstepped some boundaries.
And He will strip us of these precious gifts.

Because, like I said…God is jealous.
Seriously.
Jealous.
His words, not mine.
Look it up, I’ll wait…check Exodus 20…

Back?
Okay, good.

See, that’s no new concept that I’ve come up with.
It’s not something hidden away for deep thinking theologians to discover.
No, He comes out and says it.  Point blank.
“I am a jealous God.”
He doesn’t even hide it somewhere in the middle of Obadiah, or some other book that just gets skimmed over.
No, He puts it in the midst of the Ten Commandments.
Where even the most casual of Bible readers is sure to stumble across it.

There are a lot of things that tend to take His place.
Some come and go with the seasons (i.e. sports, the War on the War on Christmas, etc.)
Some stick around for a while.

That’s the way my idol was (is?).

For a long time, there has been nothing I’ve wanted more than this one thing.
It’s not a bad thing at all.
It’s actually a good and holy thing.

Maybe, more than a thing, it’s an idea.

The idea of her.
Not a specific her…just whoever “she” happens to be.
And the idea of marrying her.
And having children.
And maybe a dog.
And a house.
With a picket fence.

You get the idea.

So, this is what happens when I’m in a relationship.
Either I’m all in or I’m folding.
Not a good strategy in poker.
Not a good strategy in dating.
Always folding never gets you anywhere, slowly becoming broken from lost ante.
But going all in every hand will leave you busted and broke much quicker than you really care for.

It’s that whole business about guarding your heart…”
Yeah, I kinda really suck at that.
Certainly there is risk in loving another than urges you to put yourself out there.
It’s always been difficult for me to find  the right balance between opening up and staying protected.
Inevitably, that leaves me susceptible to significant scarring.

I guess, what I’m trying to say is:
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em,
Know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away,
Know when to run.
Never count your…*ahem*…Sorry, got sidetracked.

Not the point…

The first thing God said was “not good” was that “man be alone.”
So, He created Eve from Adam’s rib, right?
In order to give him what he needed most, he needed to be broken.
Since then, man has roamed the earth searching for that extra rib.
The one that will make him complete.

So, no question…God gets it.
He created it!
He understands.

But it doesn’t matter.
Not when that idea, a God-created and ordained institution, becomes of greater value than His presence.
Then it’s just another idol that falls under Commandment Numero Uno.

Though I can’t prove this, I’ve got a pretty good feeling that’s why I’m still single.
That’s why I can’t keep a girl around.
Not because I’m a bad guy, because I’m really not.
Not because I’m not a catch, because…I mean, c’mon.

No, I’m single because I go all in.
Because I commit.
Waaaaaay too quickly.
Every relationship is gift placed on a pedestal higher than that of the Giver.
I let myself fall so quickly that I’m just setting myself up to get hurt.

That’s pretty much the big idea from the past few weeks I’ve been wrestling with.
That we can take good and holy things, gifts from God Himself, and turn them into idols.
When we do, the consequences are often more painful than we’re prepared for.

And that’s an Ace that you can keep.

What good and holy thing have you valued higher than God?

Peace and love.

**BONUS**
To read this post with a more VH1 Storytellers kind of vibe, check out THIRDOPTIONMEN.ORG!

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4 thoughts on “Idol.

  1. God is great!!! And He certainly uses people to understand him better! Everything you have blogged about since I learned of your site is something I have been struggling with and learning from God as He teaches me. What you say, that God is number one, that we should hold nothing above him, is absolutely true! He wants us to lean completely on him and for us to give him our all. Relationships, family, and everything else that follows are blessings from Him, and we should proclaim His Truth! Bless you, Kyle!

  2. During our Be Rich series at Cross Point, Justin gave a sermon on leftovers and how we give God the leftovers unless we intentionally chose to do otherwise. It really hit home for me on a lot of levels. It caused me to look at the entirety of my life, and one of the things I realized I struggled most with was how much I really wanted a family of my own instead of always taking care of the families I work for. With tears in my eyes (I swear I am not always weeping) I told God that I believed he gave me this longing but if it never happened I would accept it so long as I had Him in my life. I would rather have God and no marriage than a wrong marriage and no God. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but I am thinking of doing a 30 day challenge for myself where I “date” God every night. No TV, no net, no girls night outs, just dinner and conversation with God for 30 nights. The idea came to me today while I was driving the kids back from the splash-pad.

  3. God is so good! With recent experiences in my life, He has proven over and over He won’t let me settle and put things/people in His place. Although these have been extremely hard times for me…when I let go of my idols, I am completely blown away at how He shows up, and puts my life on a path I never would have imagined!! Unfortunately more times than not, I have put something or someone in God’s place in my life…but I am thankfully He doesn’t let it stay!!
    Thanks Kyle for sharing…it is good to hear about others walk…:)

  4. **side note** How He Loves Us is playing right now…

    This is a really good post Kyle! (Sorry I’m just now reading.) I always appreciate your transparency and humorous approach at life through God and Christ.

    As for me, at the risk of being a copy cat, I put relationships first. I maybe don’t jump into them that fast, but they become a major priority for me. Then again, I’ve not been in a relationship since becoming Christian, so I just don’t know.

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