Tuesday, February 18, 2014

the idol of comfort


I’ve rewritten this post at least five times. To say that God’s at work in my life would be a major understatement. The problem is that I’m so messy and broken I don’t know where to start - there’s so much to work on.
Recently, our church has been studying Jonah – the rebellious missionary. Jonah heard God call and ran in the opposite direction. Like Jonah, I’ve been running. Like Jonah, I’ve encountered God’s storm. And just like Jonah, all I want to do is sleep it away.
When the storms of life thrash at our front door, we tend to run straight toward our idols. For so long I had such an elementary view of idols – just the shiny man-made Buda that sat in the corner of the nail salon. But in reality my idols are less conspicuous and have a more powerful hold over my life.
So what in this world could I possibly desire above and beyond the God of the universe?
Our desires tend to stem from four root idols. The idols of:
- Power – the need to succeed
- Approval – the need for popularity
- Comfort – the need for freedom of stress
- Control – the need for certainty
The first twenty years of my life, I would have told you my root idol was control, but the older I get, the more I find myself over-desiring comfort. It’s my little-g god.
The only way I know to end the storm is to bring on the sunshine. Although my tendency is to hide my brokenness under a façade of well-kept hair and happy blog posts – to bury it way down, I’m going to let God’s healing light shine bright on these deep layers of destructiveness.
In the words of All Sons & Daughters, “Come let it, come let it, come let it, come let it shine."





I’m going to be real with you in the next couple of weeks on how this idol of comfort has manifested itself in my life. And I ask for your prayers as I embark on this journey that will require a lot of healing and grace from God and a lot of sacrifice and trust from me.
Praise God that “the light is shining through the darkness we hide” and “we’re not chained to the secrets we have made.”


But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
~2 Peter 2:9


Honesty time. What root idol do you struggle with?







19 comments:

  1. so, i saw your instagram about this post last night & couldn't wait to read it this morning! mostly because i know my biggest idol is comfort as well. my word for the year is balance and while i definitely do need balance.... that doesn't necessarily mean that i'll have balance in every area at all times. my understanding of the word has changed some from when i originally picked it...because at first i was thinking balance as comfortable. and now balance means leaning more on the ROCK :)


    i am praying for you as your start this journey of healing! praying that God will give you strength and peace when discouragement knocks at your door!

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  2. I've said that "comfortable is the most dangerous place you can be". Honestly, I think just neglecting God is my idol. Instead of putting Him first and walking in the Spirit I just don't. I don't think that's an idol but that is where God is showing me of what I need to change.

    Here is my blog post about it. I promise I'm not trying to just get you come read it but I was surprised what God taught me about being comfortable and how Jesus was never comfortable. http://sunshine2thesquareinch.blogspot.com/2013/09/comfortable-most-dangerous-place-you.html

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  3. Jenny, I'm so excited to read these posts over the next couple of weeks. It is so brave to be so vulnerable on the internet! I definitely fall prey to the idol of approval. It's crazy to think about the things I would do (and even the things I wouldn't do) if I honestly didn't care what others thought of me.

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  4. Such a beautiful post...I can totally relate to having comfort as an idol, and approval is a close second. So excited to read more of your posts about this!

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  5. This is the same area of weakness that I have struggled with for longer than you are old. Whether it be my bank account, my relationships, or God's calling, fear and worry replace trust and hope. This is the final chapter's topic (idols and all its forms) in my Gideon study. Looks like God is trying to teach me something too. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I will be praying for you, and I appreciate your honesty. I think mine is control. I stress out a lot, but I think it stems from the fact that I don't have control over the situation.

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  7. That's so true. I think it's just so hard for me to separate joy and contentment from comfort - I guess that's exactly where I need to put more trust and faith in God.


    Speaking of acts of faith, I went back and read some of your past posts today - moving to Africa is an incredible act of faith and I definitely admire you for it. Praying that God makes it transformational, not comfortable. :)

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  8. That's an awesome picture of balance - leaning on the Rock. I'm going to have to write that one down. Thank you for your prayers and your encouragement. It's great to see where God is changing your understanding, too!

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  9. I already commented on your blog post, but it was definitely something I needed to hear. Jesus was never comfortable, and if I am going to be like Christ - why should I expect to be comfortable, too?

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  10. When my pastor first taught on "root idols" it was like my eyes were suddenly opened to all the reasons why I made the decisions I do. From the way I save money to the way I handle my relationships - it's all to establish comfort {or approval}. There's so much freedom, though, when you let go of that and hold on to Him instead {and I'm starting to get glimpses of that}.

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  11. Thank you, Jayda. It took forever to put into words. It's crazy how these idols affect all your decisions when you really step back and look at it. Looking forward to the healing process and depending more on God for joy and contentment than comfort.

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  12. It's so tough, and now that I've really stopped and analyzed how it affects all my decisions, I realize how pervasive it is. I'd like to hear what your study says about it. I love you!

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  13. Thank you, Amanda. I need all the prayers I can get. This was such a tough topic to write about and will continue to be tough. I can totally relate with control - coming from the girl who would cry when her plans for the day got out of whack. That idol isn't as prominent right now, but I think that's only because the "big areas" in my life have been decided for me and now I'm just wishing to be "comfortable" while I'm here.

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  14. JENNY!! You've done it again - gone and written a blog post that shoots like an arrow aimed right for my heart. Thank you, friend, for sharing what God is revealing in your life - because it's definitely true for more than just you!!


    ALL OF THE ABOVE. That's the root idol I deal with facing! But especially the approval one. Then control, comfort, power....I think. But these past 9 months since graduation I've been confronted with the presence of every one of these in my life in some form or fashion! {sigh}..........


    So thankful for God's grace, even when I am such a bumbling child who keeps falling in the same traps.....thankful that He opens my eyes and reminds me of His truth - through things like this post!!

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  15. What a blessing that you've experienced conviction with what you're struggling with. God is so good and doesn't condem us just draws us to be more like him! We are blessed to be children of God. Thanks for linking up with the faith and fellowship blog hop. If you'd ever like to cohost feel free to email me at susannah.kellogg (at) gmail.com

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  16. This is such a beautiful testament. I have never thought about idols this much and how they can encompass our entire lives. I think my biggest idols probably stem from approval. Actually, they most definitely do. No doubt. I really shouldn't worry so much about trying to impress others when I should only be trying to impress God. Thanks so much for the reminder!

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  17. Aw, I'm so glad God used my post to speak to you - that's exactly why it's worth being vulnerable and talking about what I'm facing. I feel like we face every single one of these at one point or another. I'm glad God is working in you - can't wait to see what He has planned for you next. :)

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  18. Yes, you are so right. Lately, I've been praying, "Thank you God for loving me just the way I am, but also thank you for loving me enough not to leave me this way!" And, I'd definitely love to cohost sometime. I'll send you an email!

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  19. Though comfort is my big one at the moment, I know i struggle with approval as well. Sometimes I have to step back and think - why am I doing this? For God's approval or for someone else's?

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