Monday, 10 December 2012

Do You Ever Overreact?

I really dislike it when I read or hear something that makes me realize that I am still a sinner.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no delusions of being anything else but a sinner; I just hate to face it.

Marriage Matters, by Winston Smith, addresses among other things the concept of idol worship.   He says, “Spotting the activity of idols in our lives can be difficult.  One sure sign of idolatry is when we overreact to something.”   If I had a dime for every time I have overreacted I’d be writing this blog from the Bahamas.

As if that isn’t bad enough Smith goes on to specify some other forms of idol worship such as comfort, security, safety, success, etc.  I feel fairly confident that if I were able to make an exhaustive list you would find something on the list with which you would identify.  Perhaps it’s your kids.

Ironically it was my wife who first identified my overreaction to a minor frustration as being in an idol in my life.  It was during a time when I was throwing one of my hissy fits and she asked me who I was mad at.  The question took me by surprise because I didn’t think that I was mad at anyone in particular, I was just upset that whatever it was that I was working on wasn’t going according to “my” plan.  She gently asked me whether or not I was mad at God.  What, me mad at God?  She then asked me if I thought God had the power to make the thing that was annoying me work the way it should.  I said of course.  I think you can see where this is going.  My need for life to work according to my plans is self centered.  It is as though the world should revolve around me, my comfort, my desires.

 Rather I needed to see this as well as many other times in my daily journey as an ordinary moment, a time when I can trust that God is working on my heart.  Whatever I allow to control my behavior in a way that does not glorify God has become an idol at that point in time.
The next time you get upset with your husband, wife, children or life in general ask yourself what is it that I am seeking.  Why is this incident bothering me so?  Invariably I suspect, if you are honest with yourself it is because things are not going according to your plan.  Whether it is as insignificant as how the tooth paste tube is squeezed or something far more important most often your desires become the idol

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