I know my heart is an idol factory that can take and corrupt good things. I know that I secretly crave affirmation from the world around me. I know that I want to indulge my flesh. I know that I want to evaluate people based on my standards. I know my pride swollen heart really does want to eclipse Christ’s glory even through the Trojan horse of ministry. I know that I need to spend much more time evaluating my own heart in light of the word of God rather than evaluating others’ in light of my own standards.
Heart Idols are something we all struggle with. We want to be on the throne, to be appreciated, to be admired. We want to do well, and we often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to the next guy. I have been homeschooling for many years, and it warms my heart when I see that my son reads better than others his age. I tend to swell, just a little, with a tiny bit of pride.
Again I say (agreeing with the Irish Calvinist) I have to preach the gospel to myself. I have to remind myself that God chose the foolish (me), the weak (me), the low and despised (me!) so that He could show His power through His people.
1 Corinthians 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of himyou are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God,righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
If I teach well, it's because of Christ. If my children follow the Lord, it's because of Christ. If I am healthy and have energy and can go from dawn to dusk, it's because Christ, the Lord, empowers me. I can do all things through Christ, Who strenghthens me. Without Him, I can do nothing. At least, nothing of any value.
Lord, keep this child of Yours from idols. Help me to guard my heart, to recognize the idols I constantly try to manufacture, and to cast them aside. Help me to live this moment before YOU, before the face of God. You are SO GOOD to me. May I live in the light of that Goodness, and bask in the sense of Your presence. In Christ, I pray. Amen.