So I wrote about my soul on Sunday……..my soul being cluttered. One thing that clutters my soul is what I guess, to be honest, is called idols. I wouldn’t say that I worship these things, but I do spend way too much time worrying about them and dwelling on them.
Do you worship idols? Spend too much time thinking or dwelling on?
My idol, the thing I crave, is for other people to want me. Not in an inappropriate way, although I can see how some women would head that direction. No, I want others to want my presence and value me as a friend. I simply want people to want me around. I crave that so much that it hurts. When that need isn’t met I feel lonely and unimportant.
In high school, I had a group of girls that I ate lunch with, played volleyball with and who would consider me as part of their group. We got along fine and I’m still in touch with a couple of them. We didn’t do a lot together on weekends and after graduation, we all went our separate ways. Does this always happen?
Looking back logically, I know that I had a boyfriend here and there. I spent plenty of time with my family and I attended a different church than the rest of them, so it makes sense that my name didn’t always pop up when they were making plans.
They didn’t leave me out on purpose, but at the time their oversight solidified my feelings of being welcome but not wanted. I craved the acceptance of others more than I knew at the time. I wanted my friends to want me. I wanted them to miss me when I wasn’t there. I wanted them to make plans around me once in a while. Occasionally I wanted them to act like their plans would be ruined if I couldn’t come. I wanted to feel like I was a vital part of the group.
I never did.
Those feelings of being on the outside carried over to my college years and well into adulthood.
I still crave acceptance. I want someone to look for me when I’m at church. I want someone to miss me if I’m not there. I want someone to think of me when I’m not with them. These things all sound romantic, but they apply to our friend relationships as well. It sounds juvenile, but when we have unmet needs during the early years, sometimes we can’t move on until we address those issues. As with any other emotional need, no person can fill it. Only God can make me feel valued the way I need to.
Only God can fill that hole.
Another idol I crave is food. I am reading a book called “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst. This book is not a how-to manual or the latest, greatest dieting plan. It’s a book to use with whatever healthy eating plan you are using. It’s a book and Bible study to help you find the “want to” in how to make healthy lifestyle changes. It’s a challenging book to read. At lease for me, it’s challenging.
In just the introduction, it talks about having the “want to” to change. My want to is there…sometimes. I want to, but then I take it back. I have to be willing to give it all over to God. Everything. Period.
“Getting healthy isn’t just about losing weight. It’s not limited to adjusting our diet and hoping for good physical results. It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change—spiritually, physically and mentally. And the battle really is in all three areas. Spiritually. I had to ask God to give me the desire to be healthy. I knew a vanity-seeking “want to” would never last. Shallow desires produce only shallow efforts. I had to seek a spiritual “want to” empowered by God Himself. So, I asked. I begged, actually. I cried out to God. And day by day, God gave me just enough “want to,” laced with his strength, to be satisfied by healthy choices.” (p.6) The other two areas are physically and mentally. Physically, I have to be willing to move…get off the couch and get moving. And mentally, I have to remember God’s promises.
Do you have an idol, some deep desire that you long for so much that it overtakes your desire for God? It could be something good; a happy home, a secure future, friendship, children; but the thought of never having it makes your faith slip a bit.
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.” —Ezekiel 36:25
It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.