"Idolatry is when anything that was created to point to God replaces God in the thoughts and desires of your heart." Paul Tripp
I don't have wooden or bronze statues on my shelves. I believe those gods are unresponsive to worship. I believe in worshipping a living God, but I am no stranger to the sin and repentance of my own idolatry.
My idolatry comes in placing the things in my life before God:
I like to have a decent schedule in my home. Everything runs better that way. When everything is clean, homework is complete, meals are prepared, and everyone is doing things my way, life is just better. I call it scheduling. When it rules me, it's the the idol of control.
There are times I am plagued with the fear of losing my children. There is an element of control that kicks in with me wanting to be over-protective. Or, I fear dying because I believe there is no one who can care for my kids better than I can. When I love people more than I love God, they are my idol.
I am safe. When I feel God shoving me out of my comfort zone, I dig in my heels a little and beg Him to leave me alone. Things are fine the way they are. I don't need to be stretched. Why can't you just leave me alone? I idolize comfort.
We sing a song at church that says, "My heart will sing no other name -- Jesus." Sometimes, I have a hard time joining in because I know my heart sings other names. I don't have idols on my shelf, but control, people, and comfort can serve as my idols; they can't give life any more than statues can. "What a wretched [wo]man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:24-25