We’re all tempted to look to things other than God for life. And when we overly attach to these things they become types of idols. This is generally easier to spot in our vices, but many good things can also become idols.
We know to avoid the blatant and obvious sins. But if we’re not careful, sin can still sneak in through the back door of our pursuits of goodness.
For instance, we were created to work and provide for our families. And hard work is a good thing.
But it becomes an idol when we can’t say no. When the fear of failure keeps us from taking a day off or enjoying a Sabbath we’re looking to work for life instead of God.
Likewise, marriage is honorable. It’s a beautiful union to desire and requires a lot of work to maintain and thrive.
But even here it becomes an idol when we look to it to meet all our emotional and relational needs. And perhaps even clearer when we’re more concerned with upholding our ideas of how marriage should look than actually loving our wife.
While God often brings us much joy and fulfillment through our marriage, he remains the ultimate source of life. And this gives us the freedom to love our wives without undue pressure or demands.
Parenting, ministry, social causes and the like are all good things we can unconsciously turn into idols.
The answer is not to simply avoid doing anything, but to regularly check the motivations of our heart and willingness to surrender everything to God.
Whatever the idol, in the end, we’re left disappointed when we look to anything or anyone other than God for true life.
Be sure to keep even good things in check, as these too can become idols.