Living Free - December 19, 2011

Living Free Every Day®


Idols We Can't See

Today's Scripture

"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry."  Colossians 3:5 NIV

Thoughts for Today

When we think of idols, we most likely picture a statue or altar of some kind.  Most of us probably would never think of bowing down to such a false god.  However, we could be in danger of bowing down to a more subtle idol.

An idol is anything we look to for solutions only God can provide. When we look to anyone or anything other than Christ as our primary source of meaning, self-worth, comfort, or fulfillment, we are in danger of having an idol in our lives.

Consider this …

The three main categories of idols are substances, behaviors, and relationships. The most obvious substances are alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs, but even food can become an abused substance. Behaviors include things like gambling and pornography. Even innocent behaviors like shopping,

television viewing, and work can become idols when we place too much importance on them. Relationship problems are often entangled with substance and behavior problems and can enslave us when we try to control others or live to please others.

When we choose to look to a substance, behavior, or relationship for help only God can provide, we have chosen to follow an idol. Such a choice will prevent us from serving and loving God freely.

Are you looking to a substance, behavior, or relationship for solutions only God can provide?


Father, help me remember that Christ is my primary source of meaning, self-worth, comfort, and fulfillment. I know that any other source can become an idol if I place it above you. Please show me if I have done that. Please forgive me, and help me put you first in every area of my life. In Jesus' name. . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

Living Free by Jimmy Ray Lee, D. Min. and Dan Strickland, M. Div. This updated version is presented in two parts. It offers information for anyone who either has a life-controlling problem or has a loved one with a life-controlling problem:

Part 1: Learning to Live Free

  • Defining Life-Controlling Problems
  • Mastered and Trapped by Issues
  • Walls of Protection
  • Family Influences
  • Helping or Harming?

Part 2: Helping Others to Live Free through Small Groups

  • The Small Group Strategy
  • Effective Facilitation and Communication
  • Launching a Living Free Ministry

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Originally published December 19, 2011.