They Have Eyes but Cannot See

Quit scraping and fawning over mere humans, 
   so full of themselves, so full of hot air! 
   Can’t you see there’s nothing to them?  
(Isaiah 2:22 – The Message)
A few years ago I began to set boundaries between my parents and me.  It started with reading the Bible, especially the Old Testament, most especially Isaiah.  Isaiah hits idolatry hard.  One day while reading about the futility and madness of trying to pacify and seek rescue from gods of our own making, God put a crack in my armor around my relationship with my parents.  With the smallest whisper of doubt I asked myself, ‘am I an idolator?’
That moment a light switch was turned on inside me.  I realized my parents had taken a place in my heart where only God belonged.  It felt like someone had punched me hard in the stomach.  I almost threw up.  
I often wonder about the people in history who turned their back on paganism to worship the living God.  Old roots grow deep and don’t pull up easily.  I imagine a new believer walking by his former temple on the way to worship.  He saw the bright colors, heard the chanting and instruments, smelled the incense and burning sacrifices.  These sensory experiences were tied to deep hooks pulling the worshiper back.  By classical conditioning he must have felt guilt and the fear of his neglected god’s wrath as if on cue.
 
I sometimes feel idolatrous hooks tugging on my own throat.  A certain part of me still longs to win the elusive prize of parental approval and acceptance.  Never mind that that strategy hasn’t turned out so well for me in the past.  I’d be better off hitting myself with a hammer so I could feel relief when I stop.  Only the grace of God can set me free from this compulsion.  A good friend recently reminded me that God paid a high price for my freedom.
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. (Galatians 5:1 – The Message)
May God give us the strength and grace today to live up to our freedom!
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