Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Idol Of Success

I am attending a young adults small group at Central Wesleyan that is reading through Jeremiah. Through the first 3 chapters we have read over and over again about Israel's idols of wood and iron. God mocks them calling out to these created objects to save themselves. I was trying to make it personal because i know i don't struggle with the temptation of putting a Buddha idol in my room.
What it came down to was this.
What am i putting in the place or even what is trying to share the place with God in my life? (because God DON'T share either!)
The overwhelming answer to what has made me doubt was my capability to be an adult via my capability of making sure i set myself up for worldly success. I think we deal a lot with this as Americans. in Celebration of Discipline Richard Foster says,
The mass media have convinced us that to be out of step with fashion is to be out of step with reality.... This psychosis permeates even our mythology. The modern hero is the poor boy who purposefully becomes rich rather than the rich boy who voluntarily becomes poor..Covetousness we call ambition. Hoarding we call prudence. Greed we call industry(Foster 81).

We have convinced ourselves that coming out on top in this world is the way to show God best. This may be good at times, but Jesus overall taught that riches were dangerous, that leadership required a humble servant, and that coming out on top of this world was definitely not our first priority.

In trying to compensate for my poor financing skills and my young boundary setting, i had place the idol of success in competition with the voice and words of God. I began to question whether i would be a success if i never got completely out of debt or was never recognized for my leadership. I forgot that although maturity is big and growth essential, they must never share the authority of Lord over my time and life. All that from just the first three chapters of Jeremiah!?! Excited about the rest.
Lord, help me to remove the idol of success from Your place and to be ever wise in learning from the Israelites that idols that have come before should never be taken lightly because they will be likely to tempt my weakness again.


Tim LaDuke said...

I totally relate man! I am the same way! I want to go against the grain and the norm of being this "starving artist." So I work hard and have gone into debt thinking my hard work will pay off and that Ill "make it." Well God doesn't promise us riches and he certainly doesn't want us to do it on our own strength. I fail at that a lot.
I am totally guilty of trying to be this worldly view of success.

Tim LaDuke

Unknown said...

Brent-I love your heart & vulnerability. "Been there, done that" on the whole success/career fast track thing. Its pretty lonely & empty there anyways. Thanks for sharing & glad you are part of the group! You rock!

Bethany J.