Idols and their Consequences

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Here’s an interesting list of common idols in a secular world, along with their immediate/medium term consequences. It comes from from the footnotes of ‘The Reason for God’ by Tim Keller . . .

If you centre your life and identity on your spouse or partner you will be emotionally dependent, jealous and controlling. The other person’s problems will be overwhelming to you.

If you centre your life and identity on your family and children you will try to live your life through your children until the resent you, or have no self of their own. At worst, you may abuse them when they displease you.

If you centre your life and identity on your work and career you will be a driven workaholic and a boring shallow person. At worst you will lose family and friends and, if your career goes poorly, develop deep depression.

If you centre your life and identity on money and possessions you will be eaten up by worry or jealousy about money. You’ll be willing to do unethical things to maintain your lifestyle, which will eventually blow up your life.

If you centre your life and identity on pleasure, gratification and comfort you will find yourself getting addicted to something. You will become chained to the ‘escape strategies’ by which you avoid the hardness of life.

If you centre your life and identity on relationships and approval you will be constantly overly hurt by criticism and thus always losing friends. You will fear confronting others and thus be a useless friend.

If you centre your life and identity on a noble cause you will divide the world into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and demonise your opponents. Ironically you will be controlled by your enemies. Without then you have no purpose.

If you centre your life and identity on religion and morality you will, if you are living up to your moral standards, be proud self-righteous and cruel. If you don’t live up to your standards your guilt will be utterly devastating.

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