There is a danger every day to make an idol out of something or someone in our lives. Because I live in a country and in a time when there is such a great deal of luxury and leisure time, it is a great danger. With that in mind, John Piper has written about 12 ways we can recognize the rise of covetousness in our lives:
Most of us realize that enjoying anything other than God, from the best gift to the basest pleasure, can become idolatry. Paul says in Colossians 3:5, “Covetousness is idolatry.”
“Covetousness” means desiring something other than God in the wrong way. But what does that mean—“in the wrong way”?
The reason this matters is both vertical and horizontal. Idolatry will destroy our relationship with God. And it will destroy our relationships with people.
All human relational problems—from marriage and family to friendship to neighbors to classmates to colleagues—all of them are rooted in various forms of idolatry, that is, wanting things other than God in wrong ways.
Piper goes on to identify 12 ways we can do this when it comes to enjoyment. He says enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when:
- It is forbidden by God.
- It is disproportionate to the worth of what is desired.
- It is not permeated with gratitude
- It does not see in God’s gift that God himself is more to be desired than the gift.
- It is starting to feel like a right, and our delight is becoming a demand.
- It draws us away from our duties.
- It starts to awaken a sense of pride that we can experience this delight while others can’t.
- It is oblivious or callous to the needs and desires of others.
- It does not desire that God be magnified as supremely desired through the enjoyment.
- It is not working a deeper capacity for holy delight.
- Its loss ruins our trust in the goodness of God.
- Its loss paralyzes us emotionally so that we can’t relate lovingly to other people.
This is just the list, read the article to get the full explanation. Be happy in God.