Some things are so hidden that you only find out about them when you are looking at something else. Like eating a cheeseburger to find out you don’t like pickles, or watching TV and finding you don’t like car insurance commercials, or watching Jersey Shore and finding out you no longer want to live.
It can happen with idols as well.
On one hand you have the obvious idols like money, power and fame. But then there are less noticeable idols that you only see when you are looking at something else.
I call these Reverse Idols.
What are Reverse Idols you say? Well, I’m glad you asked that. So now I’ll tell you.
Here’s an example. I would be happy if I didn’t have to go to work.
Obviously your job isn’t the idol, but what is the reverse of how you feel about your job? You think your happiness will be found in the not going to work.
Now I’m not talking about where your job is a drug dealer, human trafficker or building contractor. I’m talking about legitimate jobs… a job God wants you to be in.
So in this case you think you’ll be happier by not going to work and can find happiness in recreation or doing nothing (a dream we all share). That can be an idol too – sitting around spending time for self. Self can also be an idol.
Now you might come up with a series of objections: Well my job isn’t an idol, so I shouldn’t trying to find happiness in it. Are you saying that we can’t spend time in recreation?
The answer to both of these questions is found within the entire issue of idols. Idols are things that are worshipped. Worship is the key.
Can you worship God at your job? Yes. If God has given you that job, your obedience to Him in your job IS worship. Because of your obedience, you are worshipping God, not your job.
But if you don’t want to obey God, but would rather stay home to watch Oprah – then your idol is you. And maybe Oprah. But mainly you.
You worship God through obedience.
So what are other examples of Reverse Idols?
Just think of all the things God wants you to do but where you would rather not be doing them. Studying for an exam, teaching and disciplining your kids, watching your diet, exercising, studying His word, spending time with family, keeping track of finances – lots of everyday stuff that we really don’t want to do.
But you can worship God in all those things through obedience. Your worship of God becomes the driving force behind all the stuff you’re supposed to do but would rather not do.
Now something you saw as mundane or tedious becomes grander in scale because it’s about the worship of God.
Except for watching Oprah. You almost can’t help but worship God when you watch her show or her cable channel. Sometimes instead of going to church I’ll just turn her channel on.
RO 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
Take Time To Pray: Ask for wisdom to find out the things that you don’t particularly like obeying so that you can make these chores about worship rather than the chore.