7 Questions that Diagnose the Idols in Your Life (via gods at war)

While on our recent trip to South Carolina we stopped in Kentucky to visit some friends. At a restaurant on the river we met up with Corky, the pastor who performed our wedding. Corky is on the pastoral staff of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville and was gracious enough to give me a copy of Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart by Kyle Idleman, who is the teaching pastor of Southeast.

I’m about a third of the way through the book (it’s taking a bit of a backseat to Ladd’s The Presence of the Future) and wanted to pass along some of the wisdom therein.

The book is all about idolatry and its modern manifestations. I’ve listened to several messages on idolatry, all good, but it’s always been a bit unclear to me what makes something in your life an idol, that is, something that misdirects my worship away from the Creator onto the created thing. gods at war provides some nice perspective and clarity on this and other points.

Idleman also offers a “spiritual arteriogram,” a list of questions which are designed to help the reader diagnose where his heart is, and what false gods (idols) might be receiving undo worship. Here’s his list:

1) What disappoints you?

“When we feel overwhelmed by disappointment, it’s a good sign that something has become far more important to us than it should be. Disproportionate disappointment reveals…” displaced longing.

2) What do you complain about?

Similar to above but this one is more about expression. That means this might be a good question to ask someone else for input on.

3) Where do you make financial sacrifices?

“Where your money goes shows which god is winning in your heart.”

4) What worries you?

“Whatever it is that wakes you – or for that matter keeps you up – has the potential to be an idol”

5) Where is your sanctuary?

That is, where do you go when you’re hurting?

6) What infuriates you?

7) What are your dreams?

What do you think of his list? What other “diagnostic questions” might you add?

 

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5 thoughts on “7 Questions that Diagnose the Idols in Your Life (via gods at war)

  1. Scott Johnson

    Thanks for this review. Sounds like an awesome book. This might sound kinda weird, but I thought of another possible quesion: Do God and I agree all the time? This could be an indication that I think of God as if He were like me. So, in affect, I become my own idol. This may sound a little contradictory though, because as we grow closer to God you’d think we would agree on things more. But as we grow closer, we may also discover just how different we are from Him.

    1. stevenkopp Post author

      Scott, good call. Idleman makes note a few times the self-idolatry is the oldest/most common form of idolatry. There’s always a tension to make God in our image instead of allowing ourselves to be renewed in the image of Christ.

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