Many times you or I have projected our expected characteristics onto some exceptional person only to find out they had “clay feet”. And, perhaps, their actual character was deeply flawed. It is human nature to want people to be the way we want them to be. We idolize them; not just ideal-ize them but we make them an idol. An old saying from when I was growing up was “he worshipped the ground she walked on” when talking about a guy that was head-over-heels “in love” with some girl.
When an object is a person, it’s easy for any of us to transform him or her into an idol. The main ingredient is blindness or intentionally redefining what our idol says and does. Once we do this then we simply attach to that person the characteristics which we like. Before you know it, you have your very own idol to worship.
I am certain that nearly every Christian is selective in what they venerate about Jesus while avoiding other characteristics that run contrary to who we want Jesus to be. However, unlike a musician, movie star, or great philanthropist, Jesus is perfect. We accepted Him as Lord and Savior, and there is real danger to us if we slip into turning Jesus into an idol. If we blind ourselves or reject or diminish who Jesus “is”, what He has said, or what He has demonstrated, then we are no longer worshiping Jesus but an idol we created.
The Holy Spirit provides us with the guidance we need to prevent us from creating an idol of Jesus. This guidance is found in Romans 12:2 (NIV), which states, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Our human nature constantly desires to create idols. So, we need to no longer be conformed to this worldly pattern but we need to be transformed so we see, think, and act as God desires; in truth, we are learning how to be citizens of God’s kingdom. Oh, I need to add this: pray. Talk to Jesus about the things you’ve buried or ignored. Bring them into the Light and your intimate Savior will help you.