What do you Worship?
This standard church question receives typically a pretty standard church answer, God or Jesus. I’ve given that answer many times myself. But I think this question deserves more thought and reflection than it usually gets. Over the years I’ve found consistently asking myself these questions helps to diagnose my heart and reveal the idolatry hiding inside.
1. What is your life structured around and why?
Identifying what your life is structured around is a constructive way to look into your own heart and figure out what is going on. It can also be beneficial in determining your upcoming plans. Start by looking at your daily, weekly, and yearly activities. Ask the question “What are the areas in your life you are working for, planning for, and sacrificing for?” Are there any differences in your stated goals and your actual behavior? This kind of self-reflection can highlight the differences between what you think you are living for and what your real goals in life are. One of my long-term goals is for this blog is for it to get a lot of views and be successful as possible, so I’ve had to adjust my behavior to spending a lot of time writing and working on parts of the blog.
But just looking at the activities you are doing is usually not sufficient to uncover idols. After you have determined what you have been spending time on it is necessary to ask why these things? What am I getting from this? To revisit my example about this blog, why is it important to me to have a successful blog? My current answer is that the more views my blog gets, the more people I can encourage with the hope I have through Christ. However, I’ve seen many instances where good things become all important things, so I try to be very intentional in how I think I think about success so that I don’t begin to worship or idolize a high view number to fulfill me.
2. Who or what do you run to when the seasons of life are joyful or disheartening?
Whatever or whoever you go to is the one thing that you most value. It could be the first person you call when things start going wrong or the first person you want to tell the good news too. Or maybe it’s the habit you turn to, to get through a rough day to relieve stress or when you want to celebrate. Personally, I’ve had difficulty with using food to regulate my emotions which led me to see how I prioritized my comfort above what I knew was logical or God-honoring.
3. What are the things that cause you to become angry?
Anger is a painful emotion for me because I am prone to get angry about a lot of things pretty quickly. I still actually struggle with being proud that I’m not a person you want to mess with because of how harsh my anger can be. Last week I was furious because I had found myself once again stuck in significant traffic and my mind was racing with thoughts of running out of time to get the errands I needed to complete. After taking a second to calm down and process my road rage I had to stop and ask myself what was bothering. The realization that I had come to was so caught up in my stressful day at work that the negativity was consuming me. I was telling them all how to drive so I could feel better even though it did not affect them since they couldn’t hear me! But my anger came out to defend something I dearly care about which in this case was my perception of being in control.
If your answer to all of these questions is that I don’t struggle with any of these, that’s great! I hope they helped! But for many, including me, it’s constructive to go over some additional information and examples to help this sink in. It took quite some time to get out what I wanted to share with about worship, but with the help of my editor we have broken it down into a three-part post. Over this coming week, will be posting two more posts to paint a picture of how important worship is. See y’all on Wednesday for Part 2!