Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.1 John 5:21
My life was filled with a variety of competitive events, starting back in school and in Boy Scouts, continuing in sports, church, and paid employment. My significance in life felt directly tied to what I accomplished. I had every reason to be proud of my reputation, my education, my family, and how I supported myself financially.
With my job losses, however, I realized that these were all false idols. I had read about idols of our hearts in the Bible and in Christian books; I’d heard many good sermons on the subject. But my sin became real for me as I lost one job after another and discovered who I really was inside. I was being exposed.
The gospel of grace is what we all need to believe in our hearts. Who you are has nothing to do with you! Significance and meaning are anchored in Jesus’ accomplishment… His victory and success, not yours.
The true gospel frees us from idols, from other people’s judgments, and from what we think of ourselves. Everything we need for being significant we already have in Jesus Christ.
“The secret to change is always to identify and dismantle the basic idols of the heart.” (Tim Keller)