Note: This is the 5th post in a series on idolatry.
For some reason, it surprised me when a couple of people told me how hard it was to end their affairs.
They weren’t thinking, I’m so relieved and happy to be back with my spouse. Instead, they were thinking, I miss my best friend.
Because of their feelings, they had to set strict boundaries for both their behavior and their thoughts. Boundaries that would help them fall out of love with that other person and into love with their spouse.
Giving Up an Idol
“In a sense, you are grieving the loss of the idol even as you embrace a closer relationship with Christ … letting go of an idol is (like) letting go of a part of ourselves … That can be sad, but as with real grief, once we move past the pain, we can begin to heal/grow.”
If you want to give up your idol, you’ll need to set boundaries on both your behavior and your thoughts—boundaries that will help you turn away from our idol and toward God.
Any boundary we set should involve the renewing of the mind because that’s where we’ll learn how futile it is to rely on our idols. As we discuss the situation with Him, we’ll be learning to rely on Him, instead.
Here are a few examples of boundaries you could set for different idols.
|A Person||Renew your mind whenever you start feeling needy, clingy, demanding, worried, etc.|
|Television/Facebook/Sweets, Twitter/Email/Reading, etc.||See How to Set Boundaries and Secondary Boundaries. Renew your mind whenever you break your boundaries.|
|The easy life||Make a list six days a week. Renew your mind whenever you don’t feel like following it.|
|Accomplishment||Set work boundaries. For example: Can only work (and think about work) between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Renew your mind when you feel like working outside of work hours.|
|Comfort||Do something that makes you uncomfortable every day, or make a goal that’s uncomfortable. Renew your mind before you work on it each day or whenever you don’t feel like working on it.|
|Doing “great things for God” or becoming a perfect Christian.||Renew your mind whenever you feel hopeless because you’re not doing enough or pride because you are.|
In a sense, boundaries are a wake up call. They remind us, Hey, you’re about to turn to your idol, again. Why don’t you turn to God for help, instead?
Boundaries are also a declaration of love. They’re a practical way of saying, I love you with all my heart, soul, and mind, God. I’m willing to give up everything for you—even my idol.
Finally, boundaries are a commitment. I am now going to work on getting this idol out of my life God. Will you help me?
Question for your journal: How does your idol keep you from loving God and others well? Are you willing to give up your idol? What boundaries could you could set to help you fall out of love with your idol so you could love God and others at a deeper level? (If you’re not sure what your idols are, click here.)
Discussion Question: What is your experience with setting boundaries? What are some of your boundaries?
Image at top of this blog post is courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos.net