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Making Idols of Our Passions

I came across these points on http://www.christiansurfers.net (if anyone is a surfer or a want-to-be surfer, like I am, this is a great site).  They used the idea of surfing as an idol but you can replace “surfing” with any other activity, job or person.  These points really challenged me to look at how I’m prioritizing my life.  For example, I will get up early to workout but sometimes I won’t get up earlier enough to also have a quiet time.  We know that we will sometimes lapse into these points in different areas of our lives but it is important to be aware if we are making an idol in our lives.    Read on for the points.  Blessings.

Signs of Selfish Passion
Is anything in your life characterized by the following:
  • You spend more time, effort, money, and diligence on surfing than on godliness, eg, you'll get up at 6am for a surf but not a quiet time; you'll seek out surf tips from a good surfer, but not godly tips from a mature Christian; you read Surfing Life Magazine each issue, but never Christian books.
  • Surfing occupies more of your brain space than God?
  • You'll discipline yourself to perform at your peak for a contest, but not discipline your life for peak ministry opportunities.
  • Surfing is your chief delight, your greatest motivation; the weather patterns determine your life more than Christ and His purposes.
  • You use surfing to promote yourself, rather than Jesus.
  • You know more about surfing than Christianity.
  • You drop people and ministry as soon as the waves are on.
  • You don't know the names of your local surfers and they don't know yours.
  • You undergo a character transformation as soon as you hit the water (the old 'praise-God-and-curse-men-with-the-same-tongue syndrome', see James 3:9).
  • You surf for yourself - who you surf with, where you surf, when you surf in order to maximize your share of waves.
  • See other surfers as semi-human objects to hassle waves off, and will snake, drop in, or take more than your share.

Signs of Submitted Passion
Where it is surrendered and used for service:

  • You take Jesus out there with you. You can still pray and are mindful of Jesus whilst in the water.
  • See other surfers as real people with real needs.
  • You regularly use your surfing to make personal contacts for the gospel eg: surf with friend you're trying to get close to; take the route to the beach that maximizes the chances of meeting people; surf crowds just for 'exposure' (not just paddling off to that lone peak); talk to others, make friends on the beach.
  • You give up prime surf time for the sake of prime ministry time. You are aware that your surfing is a tool, a means of reaching a higher end.
  • You make it feel better for others in the water rather than worse.
  • You don't 'have' to surf when there are other more important priorities of life you are responsible for eg: family, work, church etc.
  • You are known as a great person to surf with.

Finally, here is a prayer.  If you feel you have been making an idol out of an area of your life, take this seriously.

 

"God, you are the King. You own this world, its talents and you own me. I do thank you for giving me a passion. I'm sorry that I've been I have been using this passion for myself, have left you out of this area of my life and it's become an idol. I change all this now. I offer you myself, and my passion. I put this on your altar. I'll never pursue this passion again if you don't want me to, and I'll only pick it up again for you. Jesus, you are the greatest one in my life. I trust you. Accept this sacrifice in Jesus' name."

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