People as Idols?

            Have you ever considered the possibility that people in your life could be idols?  If they grab your devotion to a point where they supersede God’s commands for you, they may be idols.  The more you hunger for the approval of others or protection from their disapproval, the more dangerous is your attachment to those people.


            Consider the following thoughts from Ed Welch:



When we think of idols, we usually think first of Baal and other material, man-made creations. Next we might think of money. We rarely picture our spouse, our children, or a friend from school. But people are our idol of choice. They pre-date Baal, money, and power. Like all idols, people are created things, not the Creator (Rom. 1:25), and they do not deserve our worship. They are worshipped because we perceive that they have power to give us something. We think they can bless us. (45)


What is the result of this people-idolatry? As in all idolatry, the idol we choose to worship soon owns us. The object we fear overcomes us. Although insignificant in itself, the idol becomes huge and rules us. It tells us how to think, what to feel, and how to act. It tells us what to wear, it tells us to laugh at the dirty joke, and it tells us to be frightened to death that we might have to get up in front of a group and say something. The whole strategy backfires. We never expect that using people to meet our desires leaves us enslaved to them. (46



Welch, Edward T. When People are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1997.