June 10, 2009

The Unlikely American Idol

Because of summer camp for our students & our teaching focus for the summer, I've been doing a lot of reading in the book of Judges. Yes, the book of Judges. In the story of Gideon we see God asking Gideon to tear down the idols of his father's home & village & to replace them with an altar. The question that obviously comes to mind is this: "What idols do you & I need to tear down?"

As I thought about that, I came to the realization that for many Americans their idol(s) is their children. That may sound out of left field, but I stand by that observation. The thing about this idol is that it takes on multiple forms. On one end of the spectrum you have parents who have idolized their children by making their life goal the happiness of their children. That usually leads to spoiled, obnoxious teenagers who quickly become spoiled, obnoxious adults. The other end of the spectrum is the parent who has idolized their child by mapping out every detail of the child's life. In the process they fail to lay their child on the altar asking God to bless the child & to lead the child into the plan that God has for the young man or woman.

In Gideon's story, the destroyed idols become a part of the sacrifice on the new altar. In my life & in the life of many American parents, we need to place our children into God's hands & allow Him to lead them. As parents, we want a safe, secure, predictable future for our kids, but following God always involves faith & therefore, risk. We must take the thing that we've made an idol, give it back to God & allow Him to work out His will in their lives.

What are the idols in your life that need to be torn down? How could those idols be re-prioritized in a way that God could actually use them for His glory & Kingdom?

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