Dee Brestin on Idol Lies
Brestin discusses how Jesus set her free from her own idols.
How do we turn away from our idols and back to Jesus?
First – you have to see your idols! Heart idols are invisible, like cancerous tumors. All you can see is the effects of those tumors. All I knew was that I was having trouble keeping a good administrative assistant – and I always thought it was her fault. I thought, Why can she not appreciate what a great job this is? It is interesting, you get to minister, travel, get a good pay check, and have a great boss! What’s the matter with these women? I didn’t realize I had a hidden control idol that was driving these women away. We must not be so naïve as to think that idolatry is just worshipping visible things like statues or money.
Second, because heart idols cannot be removed, but only replaced, it is not enough to repent – we must move forward in faith, believing God can meet our need. I had to trust that if I stopped controlling, stopped using guilt, and stopped my side-ways comments, that God would work in my assistant’s life and in my ministry. It’s a continuous cycle or repentance and faith. I am so different today – I am keeping an administrative assistant, my ministry is thriving, and I have a daughter who says, “Mom – you are so much better!”
What are heart idols? How did God help you begin to see your own idols?
Heart idols are a self-salvation strategy. Instead of trusting God to meet our needs, we devise an alternate plan. God helped me to see first, through a strong word from a friend. When I lamented to Jan Silvious about losing my fourth administrative assistant in a ten year period, she said, “Seems to be a pattern in your life, Dee.”
I thought, What? Are you saying this is me? This was the first red flag that there was a cancer in me.
Then God confirmed it through His Word in a sermon by Jim Om entitled “Models of Manipulation.” It was on Martha of Bethany and Om said that she had a heart idol that was causing trouble. He said Martha was a manipulator, and manipulators often use guilt on others. In Luke 10, she storms out of the kitchen to drop a heavy load of guilt on both Jesus and Mary: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?”