While they're one of my favorite NY Hardcore bands, Kill Your Idols' band name holds a ton of spiritual value. Don't just tolerate your idols; kill them.
"An idol is something we look to to provide us with something only God can give us." - Timothy Keller from his book Counterfeit Gods.
I once thought of an idol as a statue or some kind of tangible item. Something that "religious" people prayed to instead of God. But an idol can be anything. Even what we see as "good."
Money, music, fitness, food, sex, relationships, materialism; all of these can be our idols if we aren't mindful of how we perceive them.
Once we start seeking comfort in these things before we go to the Lord, we are prioritizing them above God. We are assuming they will bring us joy that God can't provide.
One of my idols is fitness. Fitness is a great thing to engage in but when I'm frustrated, I have a terrible habit of going to the weight rack first, then going to God afterward.
I rely on the weights to make me feel better instead of God Himself. These inanimate objects (weights, a bench, a barbell and a rack) are my idols.
What are your idols?
What do you find yourself gravitating towards when life gets you down? Shopping? Your significant other? Your hobbies? Your favorite foods?
All of these are great things to have but if we're relying on them for comfort before we're relying on God, there's a big problem. They're idols.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. - Colossians 3:5
Another way I ask myself what I idolize is to answer this question:
If I hit the lottery, what's the first thing I'd buy?
You'd be surprised at some of the first thoughts that come into my mind. Of course, I'd love to honestly say that I'd give most of my winnings away. But if I'm being honest, I'd probably by something really stupid.
I'd be like "Macintosh" from that 90's movie Blank Check. I'd buy an obnoxiously big house and install a sliding board that leads from the roof into a pool filled with cheesecake mix.
In most cases, the things I honestly tell myself I'd buy first are what I turn to for comfort and contentment.
Analyze yourself and your answers to some of these questions. Try and be intentional about relying on God first and keeping the other stuff secondary. Only God can provide us with true fulfillment. The other stuff just puts us in a temporary good mood.