Updated February 11, 2019
Christian Teen Dating: Identifying Idols in Your Life
Identifying idols in your life is so necessary in having a healthy relationship with God. Idols can take hold and it’s usually only when we start noticing really unhealthy habits or feeling off that we start to wonder if something is taking God’s place in our lives. This something is called an idol.
What is an idol? An idol is an object of extreme devotion (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idol). In biblical times, this was easy to see because most of the time it was set up on display, covered in gold, and worshipped. This may still be the case in different parts of the world but maybe not so much in your world.
Having an idol in your life basically replaces God. It takes him out of being number one and puts this thing in His place. By identifying idols in your life, you can stay healthy and balanced.
Sometimes they are good things that have simply gone off balance like friendships or sometimes even ministry. Sometimes we put them there on purpose because we think they are better. Either way, they cannot bear the weight of your expectations and will stop your spiritual growth in the loving relationship God wants with us.
Have you ever been replaced? In some small way, I believe we have all felt replaced at some point in our life. How did it feel? Betrayed, angry, hurt?
How does God feel about it? Let’s check the Word of God.
6 Scriptures About Idols
Reading scriptures about idols will help us get a better understanding of how God defines it and how He feels about it.
“I am the Lord your God…“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20: 2-5).
“Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” (1 Cor.10:14)
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colo. 3:5)
“For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.” (Psalm 96:5)
“Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 19:4)
Identifying Idols in Your Life
In this very “me” centered society, YOU can easily replace God. I’ve literally seen some of my teens and friends take hundreds of pictures of themselves, take hours to get ready regardless of whose time they are wasting, and/or speak in a “me” centered attitude.
When you become “me” centered, you have taken your eyes off heaven and put them on yourself. Therefore, every decision you make won’t be about pleasing the Lord but about pleasing yourself.
2) Personal Problems/Challenges-
We all go through challenges and even the bible warns us about it but the point is to get through your problems/challenges. Oftentimes, they can be so much a part of our lives we think it’s our identity.
How do you know if it’s become an idol? It’s all you talk about.
The cross wasn’t just good enough, it was God enough. Enough to give you different options. Enough to give you hope. Enough to battle your issues. It was enough.
Do what you must to get in a healthy place by working your problems out. Take your focus and set it on Him. You will start to notice to see positive changes within you only the Lord can produce if you let Him. Your problems aren’t bigger than God. There is always hope in Him.
We are meant for relationships and they can be a beautiful thing. However, relationships are not meant to take God’s place.
Remember He gives and takes away. If you are not honoring God with the relationship He has blessed you with, then you are putting your relationship in jeopardy. You know your relationship and you know what this looks like to you.
If you are being drawn away from God, you’re not spending time with Him because all your time is on your boyfriend or girlfriend, you start slipping up in purity, then this has become an idol in your life.
Facebook, Instagram, Android, iPhone, iAnything, (notice the “I”), all these things take up your time. Some of us wake up to, go throughout our day reaching for it, checking it, and can be ruled by it. This things have become like another leg or arm.
When it comes to sexual purity, some of these items are the doorways into lustful worlds.
There are many apps and updates that have helped us track our screen time and people are becoming more aware of the negative effects of having too much. However, we are still responsible to our own walk with God. We can’t always rely on these things to help.
Do these things take up your whole schedule to the point where you are exhausted and don’t have time for anything else, including God? Have we skipped church multiple times, passed up ministry opportunities, or special church conferences because of it?
Sometimes our teams/clubs become more important. Loyalty tends to lean towards them. Our loyalty needs to lean towards God.
By identifying idols in your life like this one, it can help open up your schedule so you can be poured into and then be able to pour out.
It’s great having people you can connect with. However, when you start compromising your values in order to remain popular then it becomes an idol issue. When you value the opinion of your friends over God they have replaced Him.
If you find like you can’t openly talk about your relationship with God or have stopped talking about Him altogether, then this can be a clue into whether or not they have become an idol.
Again, friends aren’t necessarily bad unless they become more of an influence over you then you over them especially in the area of God.
Identifying idols in your life: Here are a few questions to ask yourself to find out whether or not they have become an idol in your life?:
1) How much time am I spending on it?
2) Do I go to it for all my comfort and peace?
3) How do I behave if I don’t have it in my everyday life?
4) Would I give it up if God asked me to?
5) Is it taking time away from me getting into a deeper relationship with God?
6) Are there any other things that jump out at you?
If you answered these questions honestly and have found that particular item has become an idol, then here are some tips to get you back on track.
3 Tips After Identifying Idols in Your Life
I know this term has been abused but there is real meaning and healing behind it. When we repent we ask God for forgiveness but we are not only asking for forgiveness. We are putting action behind it by turning our focus back to God, where it belongs. Read His promise to us.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philip. 4:19)
Put Him first and watch everything else fall into place.
Sometimes there are things in our life we need a break from. Try doing a fast (meaning taking a few hours, weeks, days, staying away from that particular thing and replacing it with things of God). Ask God for the proper timing.
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” (Joel 2:12)
Now that we have identified idols in our life, step back, and refocus. Set some goals.
How can you replace those idols with things of God?
Whenever we take something away, it’s always important to replace it with things of God. Otherwise, it will be so easy to go right back to what we were doing.
Now that we have a bit of an understanding of idols, I pray you will start seeing the difference in your walk with the Lord as you adjust. Make Him the God of your life. Sometimes, we have to do it over and over again.
Baskets of Blessings!
Jesus, family, ministry, and lots of coffee! My heart comes from being a young teen girl who didn’t know much and found Jesus in a dark time. My ministry focuses on the heart of God for this generation to make Godly decisions especially in the area of purity. A blog for all ages because God’s Word is eternal and has no age limit!