For years my life was consumed with basketball. It started in my dirt driveway and a goal from Sears. I fell in love with the game and honestly became pretty decent. I must confess that over time the obsession with being the best and determination to be in the NBA caused the ball to become an idol. Don’t misunderstand; I don’t think there was anything wrong with the early morning practices, routine drills, and goals to play at the next level. That determination didn’t create idolatry. For me, the pursuit of basketball took priority over pursuing God. My emotional strength and identity were rooted in my performance and not in my position in Christ.
Over time I grew in my faith and even began to shift my passion for the game into coaching with the purpose of discipling young men. God used my desire to make His name known without removing what I loved from my life, but submitted to His authority, it took on new meaning.
Eventually, I experienced the reality of knee surgeries and age, which vaporized my ability to play the game. In fact, the imagery of vapor is what Jonah refers to in idolatry during his prayer recorded in Jonah 2:8-10. Any idol will leave us empty and will vaporize. Only building our life on Christ will sustain us.
Consider assessing what good things have become god things in your life. The steps to repentance won’t automatically mean elimination of those activities but should mean a shift in priorities and reshaping of identity. Rest in God’s grace and mercy to rebuild our life on Him alone and forsake those idols.