Sunday, November 8, 2009
MOST PEOPLE SPEND THEIR LIVES trying to make their heart's fondest dreams come true. Isn't that what life's all about, "the pursuit of happiness?" We search endlessly for ways to acquire the things we desire, and we are willing to sacrifice much to achieve them. We never imagine that getting our heart's desires might just be the worst thing that can ever happen to us.
My wife and I once knew a single woman, Anna, who wanted desperately to have children. She eventually married and contrary to the expectations of her doctors, was able to bear two healthy children despite her age.
But her dreams did not come true. Her overpowering drive to give her children a perfect life made it impossible for her to actually enjoy them. Her overprotectiveness, fears and anxieties, and her need to control every detail of her children's lives made the family miserable. Anna's oldest child did poorly in school and showed signs of serious emotional problems. The younger child was filled with anger. There's a good chance her drive to give her children wonderful lives will actually be the thing that ruins them.
Getting her heart's deepest desire may end up being the worst thing that ever happened to her.
THE INEVITABILITY of IDOLATRY
Why is getting your heart's deepest desire so often a disaster? In the book of Romans 1, Saint Paul answers that the human heart fashions these desires into idols, and summarizes saying, "They worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator" (Romans 1:25).
Every human being must live for something. Something must capture our imaginations, our heart's most fundamental allegiance and hope. But, the Bible tells us, without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, that object will never be God himself.
If we look to created things to give us the meaning, hope and happiness that only God himself can give, it will eventually fail to deliver. And it will break our hearts.
The woman, Anna, who was ruining her children's lives did not "love her children too much," but rather she loved God too little in relationship to them. As a result, her child-god were crushed under the weight of her expectations.
The Bible is filled with story after story depicting the innumerable forms and devastating effects of idol worship. Every counterfeit god a heart can choose----whether love, money, work, success, sex or power has a compelling biblical narrative that explains how that particular kind of idolatry works itself out in our lives.
-----Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods
Posted by Webutante at 12:37:00 PM