Idol Worship

About eight years ago,  I overheard another secretary describe the quality of my work in a condescending manner to one of the attorneys at our firm. If not for all the time they spent fixing my mistakes, she told him, her attorney would have a fit.

I don’t know if she knew I was sitting very quietly, listening in the next cubicle. Anxiety, fear, and rage flooded my mind.

During the first year at the firm, I went home every night wondering if I would be let go the next day. I was the float, the extra help. Every day I struggled to find enough work to do. The one exception was the work that needed to be done for this secretary’s attorney. He had three secretaries, and they were always a month behind in dictation. That was the pot calling the kettle black, I thought!

That weekend, I attended a retreat with my kids. We sang songs and heard wonderful, moving messages. But all I could think about was what she said about me. I was consumed by anger and anxiety.

Then in a moment of clarity, the Spirit showed me I was building an altar to my hurt, rage, and anxiety. Her hurtful comment had become an idol. I kept offering myself and my thoughts to it over and over. I realized I was worshiping a false god. By God’s power, I was able to repent and worship the only true God. What a weekend of blessing it turned out to be.

Holding a grudge is incredibly destructive, poisoning the soul and consuming the ones who are held in its grip. Grudge worshipers even evangelize others.  I have seen this type of idol worship destroy churches, as one group of members tries to convince others to be on their side.

Only  the power of God can release us from slavery to our idols. Our victory is not dependent on our strength and determination. We need only to turn away (repent) and call on the living God to release us from the grip of this  idol and forgive those who offend us.

Jesus came to set the captives free.
“He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18b – NIV)


20 thoughts on “Idol Worship

    • Many verses came to mind as I was writing this. Here is one.

      23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV)

  1. A beautiful post. I had a similar situation in my job previous to this one. It is not easy. 😦 Thankful the Lord brought you through.

    • I have often heard preachers talk about the material idols in our lives, such as cars, boats, houses, husbands, wives, children. But what is in our hearts can also become an idol.

  2. Amazing witness to how God sets us free; this story shows how powerful the Holy Spirit is when we give him even an inch.. He takes a mile !!.

    Even if I can only crack open my iron prison door open a crack- that is all he needs to flood my prison cell of self-conern and ego centric life with His light and truth.

    loved it

  3. Reblogged this on Distracted Martin and commented:
    The most poignant part of this post:
    ” I was building an altar to my hurt, rage, and anxiety. That offense had become an idol. I kept offering myself and my thoughts to this idol over and over. I realized that I was worshiping a false god”

    Truly a profound statement.
    While I disagree with the author’s religious views (and only about the role of Jesus), she is so VERY correct about worshiping idols.

    We (I) do build altars to other gods. Money, career and even our self-pity to name but a few.

    We should tear them down, get on the ground and worship God.

  4. Thanks for stopping by and “liking” my post. I do appreciate the support.

    You are on the mark with this post. Idol worship is so much more than praising or praying to graven images and so easy to fall into – I didn’t fall so much as run as hard and fast as I could into the arm of my idol. God dealt with me but, you know, I still struggle – thank God for grace.
    Good post.

  5. Is there not an absolute degree of….utter and complete amazement as to how the Spirit works??!! Such power, and might to afford such perfect peace! Loved the article! Thank you for sharing it!

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