I Have Been Worshipping Idols

As most of you know my husband, Troy, and I have had some amazing Christian counselors come in and work with our staff and us. We knew the pressures of ministry and had determined early on to remain healthy and allow that intense accountability into our lives so we could run the race with endurance. Troy always says that he never wants to be a shooting star because they are only temporary even though some people chase them. We want to be North stars that stand the test of time and point people who are lost in the right direction.

So I say all of that to say this. This past week when I was talking with these people who hold me accountable, something very key came out that shocked me. I told them how I feel responsible sometimes for people. Like if I don’t “do” something they might not come to know Jesus. Or if I “do” something they might not come to know Jesus. I remember thinking one day that if I did not go over this couple’s house right then and help them (even though it was my Sabbath and I really needed to rest) then their marriage would be over and I would have felt like it was my fault for not helping them. I also remember a couple who was distraught over the way that they had been treated at another church by their pastor and that somehow I would prove to them that not everyone would do that to them. I took that on as my responsibility and that somehow if they got to know “me” then they would change their minds and truly believe that there are good leaders still left in the world.

So when I explained this to my accountability they let me know that they knew exactly why I was feeling that way. What they said shocked me. It was called Idol worship. How in the world could I be involved in that? I am a pastor! I am supposed to live above this sort of thing, right?! Idol worship?

When broken down in its purest definition idol worship is putting anything in front of God. I thought that I was the key piece even though I did it inadvertently. If I don’t do this or if I don’t that these people’s future is affected. Now don’t get me wrong, we all have a part to play but we are not THE part. I was putting so much pressure on myself to be “it” I actually had left God out of the equation at times. Since when could God not move unless I was involved? Since when do I hold someone’s future in my hands? Since when should I put pressure on myself to be “it” for anyone?

To sum it up, Idol worship is determining what you want out of life and deciding it is within your reach and your power to get whatever that is. Somewhere inside your soul will grow weary and you will feel there is no way off of the treadmill of life. I determined that what I want out of life is God and Him alone, not even His blessings will do. So from now on I am going to do my best to stop trying to get it right all of the time and just choose to live in freedom. After all that is why we named the church, Freedom House!

Thanks for letting me share my heart.


~ by pennymaxwell on May 5, 2008.

7 Responses to “I Have Been Worshipping Idols”

  1. I’m glad you shared this! I have felt the same way even towards my Christian brothers and sisters. It reminds me that there is only ONE Savior. I think as believers, we are called on for help many times and the Holy Spirit works through us to lead people in the right direction, but THEY have to do the work.

  2. Great message Penny! I appreciate your honesty tremendously. You guys are awesome.

  3. Right no Momma!!!

  4. Thanks for being so transparent…..we love you guys!

  5. Three out of four of the posts on this are from pastors so I am guessing that you guys understand this and maybe have even experienced it yourself. Brad, Troy and Melissa, thanks for being great pastors and leading people like you do. Shannon, thanks for being a faithful blogger!!

  6. I, too, think that if I market this way and go for business that way, and stay up at night trying to think of ways to bring business in…..on a daily basis, God shows me that the business that we DO have, has been brought in by HIM, not any of my marketing, or presentations, or anything that I have done. So I have left God out of the equation more times than I would like to admit. But, that being said, I am slowly learning, that I need to lean on God and let Him do what he does best, and stop trying to be the God in my life and business. Spending time going after something that is not God is a waste of time and an insult to God. I am a work in progress….

  7. I wanted to reply to this even though a little late. I can relate to this. As a child I guess I never got the approval I needed. So some how I ended up blaming myself for everything that went wrong. It was all my fault. Then as an adult I would feel responsible for EVERYTHING! and try to fix EVERYTHING! WHEN SPENDING TIME WITH the Lord this morning I heard the word “jealous” in my spirit. I remembered that He is jealous for me! He doesn’t want me running around trying to fix everyone’s problem or even worrying about it. When I spend time with Him He always helps me to get my priorities sraight. He loves me and tells me that. His burden is easy and His yoke is light!

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