For several months, I have struggled with a danger I see among women in our churches. I see it in Facebook posts, tweets and especially in the comment section of many popular blogs. Comments like, “I wish we were best friends” or “Finally, someone I can relate to”. Comments like, “I think we are twins and just separated at birth” actually creep me out. But the issue isn’t new. It’s called idol worship. Not only is it harmful to the women in our churches, but it is harmful to the women we are idolizing.
As a woman in leadership, how do you address this topic? As a Christ follower, is this an issue for you? Here are some quick thoughts to consider when “following” Bible study teachers and authors.
Remember that women who have been given a platform through writing or speaking are human. They may be very Godly women, but they struggle with the same issues we all struggle with – insecurity, pride, and wrong motives. They have good days and bad. They even tweet stuff they probably shouldn’t or blog about things that can provoke us to be more like Christ. Sometimes they provoke just to provoke. When you follow every conference they speak at, stalk their twitter feed or comment on their blog, consider whether you are putting them on a pedestal that could easily come crashing down. Instead, pray for them. Pray for them to remain close to Christ and to remain humble. If they don’t, I can promise humility may come at a price.
Remember these women are NOT going to be your best friend. Because so many great speakers and authors are genuinely authentic and share their walk in faith, we tend to think we “know” them. Why? Because we know their family, we know what they like to eat and we know details about their lives that are very personal. But this does NOT make you their best friend – even if you are friends on Facebook. I implore you to refrain from spending more time living vicariously through their life and start living the life God has given you. Build your community with the women God has placed in your life. In other words, be friends with your real friends!
Remember God has given them a platform for His glory and not their own. In His sovereignty and grace, He has allowed each of them an opportunity to share their faith journey. I truly believe many of them are anointed with an incredible ability to communicate and reach into the hearts of our spiritual condition. Just remember what they say should always point to the cross and to Christ. He is the one who was the perfect sacrifice and is the only one we call God. If they talk or write mostly about themselves, have a discerning spirit. Test what they teach up against the word of God.
In the next couple of days I will be surrounded by thousands of women who are coming to hear one of the most-loved Bible teachers of our generation. Some will come because they follow this woman EVERY. WHERE. They hang on every word she says. They want their hair to look like her and they want to dress like her. But instead of making her an idol, I pray women come and hear a fresh word from scripture and that all of us leave following closer to the one, true God. I’m praying our worship is only for the one who is truly worthy. We look like the things we worship. Let’s just work on looking more like Christ.