“What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving “face” and social standing. It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in the Christian ministry.” – Keller, Timothy (2009-10-20). Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters . Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.
Here are some helpful questions to help discern if you might have idols in your heart. “How can you discern when a good desire is turning into a sinful demand.” (Peacemakers Ministry) As Tim Keller says, “Is a good thing is becoming an ultimate thing?” You can begin by prayerfully asking yourself “X-ray” questions that reveal the true condition of your heart.
“1. What am I preoccupied with? What is the first thing on my mind in the morning and the last thing on my mind at night?
2. How would I complete this statement: “If only _____________, then I would be happy, fulfilled, and secure”?
3. What do I want to preserve or avoid?
4. Where do I put my trust?
5. What do I fear?
6. When a certain desire is not met, do I feel frustration, anxiety, resentment, bitterness, anger, or depression?
7. Is there something I desire so much that I am willing to disappoint or hurt others in order to have it?
As you search your heart for idols, you will often encounter multiple layers of concealment, disguise, and justification. As mentioned earlier, one of the most subtle cloaking devices is to argue that we want only what God Himself commands.“- See more at: http://www.peacemaker.net/site/c.aqKFLTOBIpH/b.958147/k.4979/Getting_to_the_Heart_of_Conflict.htm#sthash.qcxvPWyU.dpuf