Hello, I Am an Idol

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It may seem odd to see an article about idolatry on a counseling website, but an idol isn’t necessarily something that we literally bow down to, offer prayers to, and/or offer sacrifices to during our week. An idol is something, even something intangible, that has control of our hearts and controls our thoughts, emotions, desires, and interpersonal relationships in a way that produces anxiety, depression, and stress when we don’t have it or fear that it may be taken away.  By pinpointing our idols, we can begin to understand and begin to healthily deal with the thing or things that may be producing unhealthy interpersonal and intrapersonal struggles.

Here is one way to identify what idols may be causing issues in our hearts and lives:


Hello, I Am an Idol

By Nicholas McDonald

Hello. I am an idol.

Don’t be afraid, it’s just me. I notice you’re turned off by my name: “Idol.”

It’s okay. I get that a lot.

Allow me to rename myself.

I’m your family.

Your bank account.

Your sex life.

The people who accept you.

Your career.

Your self-image.

Your ideal spouse.

Your law-keeping.

I’m whatever you want me to be.

I’m what you think about while you drive on the freeway.

I’m your anxiety when you lay your head on the pillow.

I’m where you turn when you need comfort.

I’m what your future cannot live without.

When you lose me, you’re nothing.

When you have me, you’re the center of existence.

You look up to those who have me.

You look down on those who don’t.

You’re controlled by those who offer me.

You’re furious at those who keep you from me.

When I make a suggestion to you, you’re compelled.

When you cannot gratify me, I consume you.

No—I cannot see you, or hear you, or speak back to you.

But that’s what you like about me.

No—I am never quite what you think I am.

But that’s why you keep coming back.

And no—I don’t love you.

But I’m there for you, whenever you need me.

What am I?

I think you know by now.

You tell me.


If you would like help dealing with the idols in your heart and life that are causing issues, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.