11 Questions that Expose Idols
Darrin Patrick has an excellent book for those entering vocational ministry called “Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission.” The book cover three main sections: (1) The Man–qualifications and qualities of those who seek to enter ministry; (2) The Message–the historical/redemptive gospel in all its glory and relevance; (3) The Mission–how the church operates and lives on mission in the culture.
My favorite chapter was ‘Idol-Shattering’ (ch 12). Here Patrick explains how the gospel frees us from idolatry, which is loving/exalting someone/thing above God in our heart and life. How do we know if we are making someone or something an idol? Patrick (quoting David Powlison) gives us 11 questions that help us expose idols:
“1. What do I worry about most?
2. What, if I failed or lost it, would cause me to feel that I did not even want to live?
3. What do I use to comfort myself when things go bad or get difficult?
4. What do I do to cope? (What are my release valves? What do I do to feel better?)
5. What preoccupies me? (What do I daydream about?)
6. What meaks me feel the most self-worth? (Of what am I the proudest? For what do I want to be known?)
7. What do I lead with in conversations?
8. Early on what do i want to make sure that people know about me?
9. What prayer, unanswered, would make me seriously think about turning away from God?
10. What do I really want and expect out of life? (What would really make me happy?)
11. What is my hope for the future? ”