How to Overcome Your Idolatry of Money

by Jason on March 18, 2010

So last time we looked at how to identify if money has become your idol.  Today we want to tackle the question of “so what do we do about it?”

In today’s culture, idolatry isn’t building some golden calf to bow down to.  We hear that story of the Israelites in Egypt worshiping the gold cow and think, “how could they do that – what a bunch of goofballs!”

Idolatry always has been, and is still today, a setting of our hearts on something besides God himself.  God wants our complete devotion.

So, perhaps you have recognized that you’ve worshiped at the feet of the greenback and need to do something about it – Here’s what you should do:

Repent

We always need to start here any time we discover we’ve been worshiping another god.  Repentance in it’s simplest definition is to turn from something.  We turn from your idol worship and turn to God and worship Him.

Replace

Here’s the thing, you can’t just repent.  Although it starts with repentance, it is more than that.  You can’t just pull up the root without “planting” another seed in the ground, otherwise roots will continue to grow.

You need to replace the root of idolatry with something better – something far more beautiful; and that something is Christ himself.

Replacing our money idol with the truth that Christ – specifically what He did on the cross for you –  is so much more amazing than a big promotion or a fat wallet is what we need to do.

Rest

Rest in the finished work of Christ on the cross to overcome our idols.  Jesus conquered sin and defeated death.  He rose again from the grave and has come to give us rest.  Although we need to work hard to overcome our idols, we also need to rest in the fact that He has overcome.

Jesus says in Matthew 11:29:

 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Rejoice

Again, Jesus needs to become more beautiful and more attractive to our hearts than money!

Repenting without rejoicing in who Jesus is and what He did for you will not lead to lasting change and will often lead to despair – because it’s difficult to overcome our most troubling temptations on our own.

Tim Keller says,

To rejoice is to treasure a thing, to assess its value to you, to reflect on its beauty and importance until your heart rests in it and tastes the sweetness of it.  Rejoicing is a way of praising God until the heart is sweetened and rested, and until it relaxes its grip on anything else it thinks that it needs.

Rejoicing is simply worship.  We worship what we treasure, and if we treasure Christ far more than our earthly goods and our fleeting possessions, that will help us overcome with effective change and lasting joy.

What are your thoughts?

  1. How does true lasting change happen?
  2. Do you agree that willpower alone cannot break the chains of idolizing money and that we need to see Christ as a greater treasure in order to pull out the idol roots out of our hearts?

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