The Idol of Accomplishment

Guest Post – Randy Isola serves as the KidsWorld Pastor at Christ Community Church in Illinois. Randy is also a graduate of the Arrow Leadership Program – Emerging Stream.

Early on in my Arrow journey, I realized that an undeniable idol of accomplishment resided with prominence in my life. At some point my thinking became twisted and I equated the depth of God’s love for me with the significance of my accomplishments for him. I never would have verbalized that because it is an obvious lie. However, as a result of my Arrow experience: directed prayer and Scripture reading, reflection, and the guidance of wise, caring people God brought into my life, I began to see both the lie and the truth with new clarity.

Evidence of this idol ranged from unhealthy work patterns to unrealistic self-imposed expectations  to jealousy of other leaders. Sometimes instead of celebrating the ways God was working, I looked at other leaders and wondered why they had more responsibility or influence than I did. I was subtly discontent in the calling and work God gave to me. I consistently looked out toward what was next rather than focusing on God’s present work.

Looking out and ahead is important in leadership, but not without simultaneously looking in to monitor motivations and the condition of one’s heart. Thankfully, I now maintain a completely healthy perspective on all subject matter related to my life and ministry. Ok, not quite, but I am growing. Now residing with prominence in my thinking is a healthier God-glorifying sense of gratitude and peace about who I am and the work I do.  

Jesus says to the Father in John 17, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” I desperately want those words to be an honest assessment of my daily life and one day, my entire life. None of us brings God glory by completing the work he gave someone else to do. None of us brings God glory by wishing for the work he gave someone else to do whether we wish for it because it is easier or seemingly more impressive. I simply want to hear from God and live a life of trust and obedience, glorifying him by completing the specific work he gives me to do. May God give you peace, contentment and joy as you do the same. 

Reflection and Application – Is accomplishment an idol for you? Are you seeking to earn God’s favour through your works? The good news is that “…it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9  Confess any lies and idols you have embraced – and embrace the good news!