When we think of false idols, perhaps the first one that comes to mind is buddha statues. We may think of the golden calf at Mt Sinai, or one of the many references to the wood or stone figures of the Bible. Whatever our minds land on, one thing is certain – we generally do not think of the ones generated by our own hearts. However, John Calvin once said that our hearts are a perpetual factory of idols. Colossians 3:5 says that greed is an idol. When we start thinking of it in those terms, idol worship is a far larger issue than first imagined. In fact anything that draws our attention away from God alone is an idol. What do we do about it?
Elyse Fitzpatrick has written this very helpful book to help us recognize, evaluate and “put off” the idols of the heart and to “put on” the characteristics that are pleasing to God. Each chapter examines various characters and unpacks the issues of their hearts. We see such people as Mary and Martha, Eli, Rachel, Rahab, Abraham and many others. She then takes these lessons and skillfully helps us realize how our hearts are very much the same as those biblical characters. Fitzpatrick presents a solidly biblical view of the human heart, pulls no punches about our depravity and explains the only solution for this situation is repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
The book is also helpful in that it gives various exercises for helping us discover sinful patterns and false gods. She gives charts to use to track thought processes and habits, and uses some of her own experiences as examples. This is a very refreshing book in a time when it seems that the people who claim to be Christians enjoy having their ears tickled, tend to think more highly of themselves than they ought and are more focused on loving themselves more. This book will help us get back to the reality of how the Word of God describes us and point us to the one Hope of a solution.