Lessons From Home: Idolatry

David Stertz
April 2, 2020

As I mentioned yesterday, I am in the middle of sharing some lessons I have learned so far as I, like many of you, am confined to my home. Here is the lesson for today: idolatry is alive and well in my heart.

This, like yesterday’s lesson, is a truth I already knew to be true. Calvin’s dictum has been drilled in my mind for many years – “man’s nature is a perpetual factory of idols.” Furthermore, I have drilled it into the minds of many others. We all worship things, people, or ideas that ought not be worshiped. 

The problem for all of us, myself being the head-honcho of the tribe, is that we are often blind to our idols. We cannot see them easily. Sometimes those idols are respectable in our society. For instance, it is a respectable thing to be a person who has a plan and has control of the means necessary to achieve the plan. Someone who has a firm grasp on his family, his work, his home, and his life is considered a good and noble person.

But what if the desire to be in control is an idol? How could a person who is “in control” (a good thing) know that he or she is worshiping that control? Well, something like Covid-19 might just do the trick because Covid-19 has wrecked, altered, or outright destroyed nearly everyone’s plans and everyone’s sense of control. 

You see, when an idol falters or is destroyed, our response often reveals our idolatry. It brings it in the open. Responses such as radical fear, anger, depression, or heavy anxiousness are often tell-tale signs that an idol has been threatened or taken down. 

About a week ago, I was working out in my garage and I was talking to myself. No, not out-loud (though I have done that many times!). In my conversation with myself I was angry. I was down-right furious. It had been building for a while as this crises developed but I felt the full weight of it in my gut. I was ticked. Why? Because many of the plans I had were falling to pieces. Covid-19 revealed that I loved to be in control and when the control (my idol) was taken away, I responded as many idolaters do. I was enraged.

Our Lord taught me a lesson that day in the garage. I am not really in control. Yes, plans are good. Yes, hard work to achieve those plans is noble. Yes, knowing where you are going is better than walking in a stupor. But in the end, thinking that my plans and my control of them is supreme, proves to be a woeful idol.

I knew this. Now I have seen it in my soul.

Lord Jesus, come quickly!