Allowing good things to create bad idols….

23 Jul

I’ve heard it said before that even good things can become bad things.  For example – saying yes to too many fund-raising committees can spread you too thin to care for your own family.  And – surprising your spouse with a really incredible  present when there isn’t money to be spent on it that month can cause the family financial stress, even though it was a selfless act.

Today though, I’m going even a little deeper than that.  I’m talking about allowing the fulfillment of our convictions to become idols and even allow some pride, judgment and condemnation to sneak its way into our hearts.

As we grow in our faith, God will reveal Himself to us more and more – and through this revealing, we gain wisdom and insights from scripture.

None of us accepts Christ, and then immediately understands everything, has all new convictions, breaks all old habits, and understands everything we read in scripture with flawless precision. That just isn’t how it happens.  Each of us starts out as an infant and hopefully spends the rest our lives growing and maturing to example Christ.

In this process, I’ve discovered that we can be moving very much in the right direction, and slowly, without intention of any kind, get off course – or continue on course but only while picking up heavy boulders to carry as we walk.

I’ve discovered this in my own life with Christian School.  My husband and I felt extremely convicted to send our kids to the private Christian school in the county in which we live four years ago when our oldest son started Kindergarten.  I did not start out making this decision with any judgment or ridicule of anyone else or their decisions for education.

Throughout the last three years, as I watched my children growing in the Lord, memorizing scripture, bring protected and nurtured in a Christian environment without the inclusion of myths and theories the world has adopted – I began to feel more and more like we were making a better choice for our kids than others were making.

I certainly didn’t condemn anyone or degrade them for using the public school system, but in my heart – I grew proud that we were mature in the Lord, following our convictions, taking HUGE leaps of faith financially, and giving our kids the best option available.

This year however, our circumstances have changed, the environment has changed, the options have changed, the finances have changed and we’ve had to cry before the Lord for guidance.

Remember that big decision I said a couple of weeks ago we are making?  Well, after weeks of talking, praying, fasting, seeking TONS & TONS of counsel, my husband has decided that our children will actually be attending public school this coming school year.

And I’ve run smack dab into this faulty idol that had so subtly rooted in my life.  I realized that my fears have caused me to put a lot of trust in myself and not enough in God.  And my anxiety over not doing “the best” thing for our kids makes me feel like we’re not as good of Christians or that we’re slipping in our faith.

To my surprise, I’m not the only one who this has happened to.

I’ve recently heard some similar stories from other friends sharing these same realities.

One mom was homeschooling originally with the heart to impress on her children education, but with Christian roots.  Eventually she found she was taking pride in it and controlling her fears with her own strength.  She lost her voice and needed surgery on her throat which put the kids in public school for a year.  She grew immensely and God worked on some amazing life lessons for her – but also for her kids that year.  She is now homeschooling once again, but with a totally different heart attitude.

One woman told me that this happened with wearing skirts.  She said she didn’t feel like she judged others for not wearing them – but that she found herself believing she was a better Christian for wearing them.  And she started to like the attention of others thinking she was a radical Christian for this decision.  Her original heart motive was to please the Lord with modesty, but some other stuff snuck in there too.

And yet another wife told me this has happened with respecting her husband.  The imagine it portrayed started to become equally as important as respecting her husband because it’s a command of God in marriage.

Some times making decisions, ESPECIALLY IF WE FEEL WE ARE FOLLOWING A CONVICTION, can allow us to be VERY opinionated.

We can become arrogant that the way we would do it is the ONLY RIGHT way to do it, and if it’s not done that way we get judgmental or angry.

We can press our convictions, reasons, and opinions on other people as facts and expect them to be in total agreement with us. (Let me give an example of why that is a little silly.  Samson wasn’t suppose to cut his hair.  Does that mean his example should have been impressed upon all men with the intent that they all take the Nazarene vow and no God-fearing man who walks this Earth should ever get a hair-cut? No?)

When we start to examine what others should be doing, how we’re doing it better than them, or any other form of us/them – we’re not right with the Lord.  Our decisions shouldn’t be based on looking around in any direction except directly up for what the Father wants us to do.

God leads the hearts of His people.  And He alone is responsible for convicting and judging motives.  And if blinders are on or need removed – they are under His authority and will stay or fall on His command.

I never thought we’d send our kids to public school.  Any time before June of 2013, I would have in fact told you there was NO WAY it would ever happen.  And yet here I am, looking over the public school supply list and organizing “Street Clothes” instead of uniform clothes to be used in the next 4 weeks.

Practical Application:

Make a list of my convictions.  Spend some time going over them and admitting or confessing any hidden or secret judgments, opinions, pride, idols that have crept their way in EVEN though my heart was first set on doing right and following God.  Confess, repent and go forward with a new, clean heart!


4 Responses to “Allowing good things to create bad idols….”

  1. Gleniece July 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Dear Kayla, I wonder if you’ve considered homeschooling?

    • Kayla Gulick July 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      Hi Gleniece!

      I have considered homeschooling. LOTS of reservations!!!! I haven’t had a desire AT ALL until this summer — but not a true desire, only one out of desperation.

      It is something my husband and I have talked about and have not completely ruled out for the future.

      Thank you for bringing that up!! It is a great alternative to public school without the tuition expense of private school.

  2. Meghan August 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    I love this post! Thank you for reminding me to heart check and examine my motives!

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