Dude. My “idols” change on a daily basis. Sometimes my idol, or anything I value over my relationship with God, is food. Sometimes my idol is time. Sometimes it’s my kids. I mean, it’s hard to narrow down the list!
Idols change, but God doesn’t.
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will love me no matter what--even if I put Him on the back burner & wonder why I have no peace. The real loss I experience when I choose to love something, anything, more than God is just that: a loss of peace. That’s why Jonah 2:8 NIV is one of my favorite verses: Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.
The good news is we can turn towards God at anytime. Check out what some of the other Lane of Roses gals do when they find themselves obsessing.
Responsibility. That’s my obsession. I can trace this obsession all the way back to 5th grade. I was sitting on the cold, hard bleachers with the rest of my classmates celebrating the receiving of awards when all the sudden I heard my name, “Rebekah Clevinger!” I had won the Bear Essential Responsibility Award.
Cue Ms. Responsibility Monster!
Most kids would win this award, smile, tell their parents and move on. But not me. I internalized it. If I won an award for being responsible, then I must always be the most responsible person ever. Instead of simply being me (the person who won the award in the first place) I felt the need to constantly live up to it (among the other awards collected on my trophy shelf).
I always felt the need to perform, to be perfect. And though I still struggle with these sometimes, the one I can’t seem to shake is the idol of responsibility.
Being responsible is not necessarily a bad thing, but when I put my desire to be responsible above God it becomes a problem in my life. When I prioritize responsibility over faith, I’m choosing the world over God--and trust me this never ends well.
I truly am obsessed with follow-through. If someone is expecting me to do something, you better believe I will put everything else on hold to get it done for them. If I’m supposed to be somewhere, I’m there 10 minutes early. If a task needs to be checked off that day, it will get done THAT day. I truly feel like I will let the world down if I miss one step, sleep in one minute, delay one email response or show up late to one meeting.
It seems dramatic, because it is, but it’s also how I truly feel.
I idolize responsibility. I put it before God over and over again:
Sorry God, I can’t have my quiet time today because I need to finish this email.
I can’t read this devotion until after I post this one thing for Lane of Roses.
I don’t have time to stop and pray about this because I’m meeting this person for coffee.
None of these are bad things to do, but when I put them before God they become an idol. My deep need to be responsible can grow like a weed if I don’t keep it in check.
God is not a balancing act.
This is something I have learned over the years. You can’t balance God in your agenda. I truly don’t believe our relationship with Him was ever meant to be a checkbox on our list of things to do (however, I am so guilty of this). God simply is, and I can take Him with me wherever I go. I literally visualize sticking God in my bag and taking Him with me in every moment of the day. I try not to separate my tasks from him, but rather I include Him through prayer (which is really just talking to Him).
I’m not perfect at it. There are still days my “responsibilityness” kicks into high drive and I forget to put God first and take Him with me. God doesn’t call me to be perfect, He calls me to be excellent (shew...thank goodness).
The trophies of our life have a tendency to creep in every now and then and try to take over. But God is bigger (insert emoji praise hands) than any plastic idol the world tries to tell us to obsess over.
Who I am in Christ matters more than what I think or what other people tell me about myself
It crept in on the first day of middle school as I saw every girl walking through the hallways with tight brand name t-shirts, new sparkly totes, and cute jean skirts that showed off freshly tanned legs. This is the day that a seed of insecurity was planted in my heart, and the obsession with being accepted by others bloomed. I desperately wanted to be skinny, popular, outgoing, beautiful, and picture perfect in the eyes of my peers. I dreamed of being the girl that all the boys wanted to date and that all the girls were jealous of but couldn’t help but love.
This unhealthy desire grew over the years and followed me from middle school into high school and even moved away with me to college. I’ve always wanted to be prettier, funnier, smarter, bolder, and basically someone I’m not. Someone who I wasn’t created to be. The obsession to be accepted led me to some dark and lonely places that I wish I could completely erase from my past. I was so focused on becoming someone who I wasn’t for the approval of others and I forgot who I really was. It wasn’t until I turned to God’s word that I began to see myself for who I truly am…
I’m not a perfect Victoria’s Secret model, but my Father calls me beautiful and created me in His image.
I’m not the girl that every guy on campus would love to love, but a man named Jesus adores me and loves me endlessly.
I’m not clothed with all of the latest trends and perfect Pinterest outfits, but I’m clothed with incredible strength and dignity.
I’m not the one who every girl is dying to be, but my Jesus thought I was worthy of dying for.
The little girl who wanted to wear a tight name brand shirt and short little skirt has grown a lot over the years. I’ve learned that even on my darkest and ugliest days I’m beautiful. I still desire acceptance from others but I’ve learned that I should never change who I am to fulfill that desire. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self who I am in Christ and what I look like in His eyes. Breaking the chains of my obsession with acceptance and comparison has been a long process and I’d be lying if I said I don’t still struggle with it. When I look in the mirror I have the power to shut down the enemy’s lies that I’m not good enough, and instead see myself as the Lord does. I was created to be me and not anyone else. I am a masterpiece, a beloved daughter, destined for great things, and loved beyond my comprehension.