Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Idol of Importance

God has changed me ALOT over th past few months. I've been wanting to share, but to put it into words, succinctly, and in a way that makes sense takes a lot of time and effort, and every time I thought of trying to write this post I just put it off because I didn't want to put in the effort. But it's been on my heart a lot lately, so I'll give it a shot.

It all started with this. It is a talk by Derek's Young Life leader, Rick Scherr i listened to over the summer. It is about an hour long, but if you get a chance, I promise it is well worth your time. The title of the talk is Lordship. And it is about making Christ the Lord of your life. Yes, Jesus is my savior, but in many ways, I struggle to let Him be Lord too. The reason I struggle to do this is because I still have idols in my life. Not little carved statues that I worship, but things that I want to control because I feel like I need them in my life and I don't want to let go.

In this talk, Rick identifies the 3 idols that the majority of people my age struggle with:
  • Comfort
  • Romantic Love / Marriage / Family
  • Being Important to Others
As he talked about each of these, they were very convicting. I already knew, however that I struggled with thte first two. And I continue to struggle with those, and this talk was very convicting about them. The third item on that last though, I had NO IDEA that this was an idol in my life. It completely blind-sided me, but helped me to realize the cause for many of my insecurities, and the reason that I would often times feel not so great about myself.

So what I learned was this: I have this need to be important to people. I want people to want me to be a part of their lives. I want to be everyone's best friend. I want people to like me. I want people to want my opinion. I want people to want me to like them. I want to be the best at everything. I want to have the best friendships, marriage, ministry, job, etc. All of this was to the point that I couldn't be happy for other people when they had something I did not, or something better than me. If friends were getting together and I wasn't a part of it, I was devastated. If I saw a few people write on someone's facebook wall, I would begin to wonder why no one wrote on my wall. If someone's husband did something sweet for them, I would try to think of something sweet Derek did for me to make myself feel better. If people who I knew were closer friends than me did something together, I would tell myself that's ok, because they are really close, but if I was left out of something with friends I felt close with, like I should have been invited, I would feel awul. Everything was viewed through a lens of "how does this affect me?" This is honestly pretty embarassing to write out, because I know it sounds ridiculous, and it is. And I tried my best to hide it and deny it and act happy for people because I knew I shouldn't feel that way, but I did, I just didn't know why.

Then I heard this talk, and it clicked. I realized that the reason I had these feelings, feelings that I had never verbalized and would never admit to anyone, was because I had made being important an idol in my life. And once I realized this, it was one of the most freeing things that has every happened to me. All of a sudden, when I would get those feelings, I would recognize them for what they were. And I would ask God to take them from me, and allow me to rest in the fact that I am important enough for Him to send His Son to die for, and that is enough. I have focused on really being happy for people, without thinking about myself and whether or not what they have is something I want. I have become content and able to share in people's joys. I can see things for what they are, without viewing them through the "what does this have to do with me?" lens. And I m full of so much more joy, and peace and contentment. And I think the relationships in my life have improved. They probably have because they are no longer about me.

Honestly, I am a bit nervous to post this. Because I still care what people think of me. I wish I didn't but I do. But maybe someone will read this who can relate to what I am saying and it will bring you freedom too. And honestly, if you can take an hour to listen to Rick's talk, I promise you won't regret it.


Kristin said...

Thank you for posting this Anne! There is nothing more attractive than honesty and transparency. I know it took guts to do it, but I'm sure it was incredibly freeing at the same time. I've never thought of importance as an idol before either, but I can definitely recognize some of that in my own life too.- You've given me lots to mull over today while I'm prepping for some stamping parties!

the Poston's said...

COMPLETELY relate to this. Needed it so much today you have no idea. so thankful for your friendship.

Jen said...

one of my favorite talks & one of my favorite posts. i feel like i need to hear that lordship sermon uh about...once a week to shake me and say "MAKE JESUS YOUR EVERYTHING!!!"

thank you for sharing your heart.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting Anne! I too have felt this way before. I recently finished a study on idols by kelly minter "No Other Gods". It was great and I would highly recommend the study. Don't know if she has a book too, but it dives into idols why more then I ever thought. Hope to see you soon!

Callie Nicole said...

That sounds like a good sermon! I struggled with the exact same feelings the summer before last - and I had one of those "aha" moments too. It's hard to recognize something like that in yourself, because it was so ingrained in all my reactions and thoughts - but once I figured it out I could start to work on it (still working on it, really). Wonderful post, and I'm glad you decided to share it with us!

Carly said...

Lets have a chat about this tonight at bible study! I like you!

Randi.Cariella said...

YES. I love that you posted this. I seriously needed to hear it (again). And, honestly, over and over. You are not alone, sister. Not at all. Thank you for being brave and sharing pieces of your heart. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being honest and posting this. I really needed to read that today. I have never really thought about emotions as idols before, but it makes perfect sense. Thank you for bringing this up and sharing how you feel about it. This really got me thinking.