Idols and Me

Featuring Bob Kauflin Posted on April 3, 2010

I spent most of my early years seeking my own glory. Popularity, music, and academic excellence were my idols of choice, and I spent most of my teenage years pursuing them. When God saved me at seventeen, my sins werecompletely forgiven. But I had deep-rooted sin patterns that weren't going to die easily.

After becoming a pastor, I assumed my job was to serve others with my superior wisdom and discernment. My pride was exposed a few times, and patient friends tried to help me see what was going on in my heart. But I was a slow learner.

When we moved to North Carolina to help start a church, my cravings foradmiration and control were constantly challenged. Some people didn't like the way we were leading the church and left. A few disgruntled parents expressed disagreement with our parent-driven youth ministry. Newcomers recommended ways the church could serve them better. A counseling situation turned ugly when a man caught in immorality claimed that I lacked compassion and had gotten angry at him.

No one knew it at the time, but God was using these situations and others to expose the long-standing sins of idolatry in my heart. I wanted everyone around me to share my high opinion of myself. My life was one extended attempt to draw attention to my gifts, my abilities, and my efforts. But it wasn't working. I wasn't getting the praise I craved, and that was affecting my soul. I increasingly struggled with feelings of anxiety, fear, and confusion. I felt like my life was about to fall apart.

One January evening in 1994 it did.

A family in the church had invited Julie and me over for dinner. In betweenbites, as we were engaging in small talk, I lost my grip on reality. I couldn't tell you how it happened, but in an instant I felt completely disconnected from both my past and my future. Resisting the sudden urge to jump up from thetable and scream, I excused myself, went into the bathroom, and shut the door behind me.

God, what in the world is happening to me? Where are you? Who am I?

No answers came as questions raced through my mind at warp speed.That night I began a sanctifying journey that would last nearly three years.

God wanted to teach me a few things about what I loved and who I worshiped.

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