I have been reading a book by Jon Tyson lately called Beautiful Resistance. The first chapter, titled Worship Must Resist Idolatry, includes the following: “Novelist David Foster Wallace said, ‘Pretty much anything… you worship will eat you alive.’ He went on to say that if you worship money and things, you will never have enough. If you worship beauty and sexual allure, you will feel ugly. If you worship power, you will feel weak and afraid. If you worship intelligence, you will end up feeling stupid.” This thought has been helpful to me lately to clarify the destructive nature of my own idolatry: I see how I have made an idol of feeling good, and so I never feel good enough. I have made an idol of my schedule, and so I never feel finished. I have made an idol of stuff, and so I never feel satisfied. I have made an idol of people’s approval, and so I never feel acceptable. These are simply the natural consequences of worship gone wrong. Not only does this realization give me added motivation to uproot and dispose of idols in my life, it also turns out to be a handy diagnostic tool, helping me to recognize those I have re-engaged or never really noticed before.
As a result of all this, I am seeking to walk in paths of repentance where I acknowledge these idolatries in my life, submit them to Jesus, turn to Him in worship and thanksgiving, and reorder my life around Him as primary. I am finding moments in this journey where the locust hordes of my own idolatry clear away and I experience gratitude, satisfaction, and rest – fruits of worshiping the one true God.