Friday, June 10, 2016

Making Idols Out of Idols

Written by TheJoyFilledWife
I once had an inspiring conversation with a friend about her journey toward dressing more modestly. She shared how the Lord had convicted her and opened her eyes to the stumbling block her clothing choices were, not only men, but to other women as well. Our eyes are naturally drawn toward particular areas of women’s bodies when they wear certain clothing and she didn’t want to be a temptation to others or distract from being a witness for Christ. 

She also took a look at the current fashion trends and realized that femininity and masculinity are severely under attack in our “gender-neutral” obsessed society. With men dressing more feminine and women dressing and acting more masculine by the day, the lines are becoming visually blurred. Because of this, she wanted to be a living example of godly femininity and modesty in word, deed, and attire. I was encouraged to see my sister in Christ taking her faith so seriously and doing her best to not become a stumbling block to men or a poor example to other women. What impacted me as well was her humble spirit when others would approach her and ask why she was dressing differently than before. She was never condemning, but responded with encouragement and grace. She impacted many women she came across in a positive way.

One day, many years later, she and I ran into each other at a friend’s house and I noticed that she suddenly went back to dressing how she had before. I was very caught off-guard, especially since she had been such a positive example to other women in this area. I gently asked her about her change in attire and she said that she decided to go back to dressing the way she used to because dressing modestly had “become an idol” to her. I was very surprised by her comment, since she had always displayed genuine humility in this area, and we all know that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Secondly, I was surprised by the fact that, in striving to remove the “idol” she had in her heart, she ended up trading one sin for a more contagious one, as she now has again become a stumbling block to her brothers in Christ and set a precedent for the women whom she had inspired toward modesty. Sometimes, dear sisters, if we are not careful, we can even make an idol out of removing the idols in our life.

I want to sincerely encourage each of us to not fall for the enemy’s trap in this area, and that the Lord would grant us great wisdom and discernment regarding idolatry. Yes, there may be aspects of our lives that we make an idol, such as modesty, marriage, reading our Bible, and even godliness. The answer to counteracting those idols, however, is not by becoming the opposite --  immodest, divorced, tossing our Bibles out, or becoming worldly -- but to confess to the Lord that we are doing the right thing with the wrong motive, and ask Him to create in us a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

I’ve heard it said, and I wholeheartedly believe it’s true, that God’s usual method of growing us is not by delivering us FROM our struggles, but by helping us grow THROUGH them. May we all be encouraged today that although our struggles may feel impossible to overcome at times, they are no match for Almighty God. Indeed, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

"We need to make sure we are not making anything an idol in our life except for our Lord and Savior. I have seen women with dresses down to their ankles, yet had hard and bitter hearts. We obey the Lord because we love Him and want to please Him in all that we do, not to make us look better or more spiritual in the eyes of others." {Lori}

Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.
1 Thessalonians 1:9