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Heart Idols

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, does such a great job of preaching in a way that uncovers the idols of my heart. I am really indebted to him for helping me see how the Gospel of the Kingdom is my greatest source of hope, joy and freedom. Here's a great outline from Keller from his blog that helps to identify the potential idols of the heart:

Idol: COMFORT (Privacy, lack of stress, freedom)

Price We Will Pay: Reduced productivity
Greatest Nightmare:
Stress, demands
Others Often Feel:
Hurt
Problem Emotion:
Boredom

Idol: APPROVAL (Affirmation, love, relationship)

Price We Will Pay: Less independence
Greatest Nightmare:
Rejection
Others Often Feel:
Smothered
Problem Emotion:
Cowardice

Idol: CONTROL (Self-discipline, certainty, standards)

Price We Will Pay: Loneliness; spontaneity
Greatest Nightmare:
Uncertainty
Others Often Feel:
Condemned
Problem Emotion:
Worry

Idol: POWER (Success, winning, influence)

Price We Will Pay: Burdened; responsibility
Greatest Nightmare:
Humiliation
Others Often Feel:
Used
Problem Emotion:
Anger

I really identify with the idols of power and control. Maybe it's my competetive nature, or desire to succeed, but I have to be wary of that idol creeping up. Actually, I can see myself in all of those idols. Both Keller and J.I. Packer talk about the concept of "preaching the gospel to yourself." They got that idea from Richard Baxter, a Puritan pastor who taught the practice of "discoursive meditation," which simply means discoursing, or preaching, to yourself in meditation. I think it's an important practice in battling the idolatry of the heart.

What idols do you identify with?

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