I still remember my best friend from elementary school. During recess we would climb to the top of the monkey bars and just sit and talk. We would call each other on the phone after school and talk for hours. We even planned what we would wear to school the next day—always in matching colors.
Until the day she invited someone else to join us on the monkey bars.
I struggled to like the new girl. I didn’t like a third person encroaching on our already perfectly even party of two. Before long, I found myself saying mean things to her and wishing she would go away. But the opposite happened— I ended up being the one booted out.
It was only as I got older that I looked back on that friendship and realized the truth: I had made an idol out of friendship.
How Can Friendship Become Idolatry?
Friendship. It’s a good thing and a blessing. We all enjoy having good friends, people we can enjoy favorite hobbies with and share our secrets and longings. But like all good things and like all the blessings God has given us, we can turn friendship into an idol that we worship.
An idol is anything we love, worship, and place in importance above God. It is anything we look to for meaning and significance. It consumes our thoughts and energies— thoughts and energies that should be focused on God. An idol is something we look to believing it will give us something that only God can give us. Though the idols in the Bible were often constructed of stone or wood, the idols we bow down to can be anything, including money, possessions, status, people, and power. An idol can be anything we think we need to make our lives better, happier, and give our life meaning. This includes friendship.
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