So I was on Quora and I came across a interesting question. “Is having a idol useful for personal development or is it a hindrance?” Most times I just gloss over people’s questions because you can tell when a individual want a actual answer verses an individual not wanting to hear the truth but what they want to hear. Most questions people ask they already know the answer to it. Hahaa, but most people still try to get their way anyway. Anywho, this question interested me and you know it tells you in the word to not have any other gods before me. You can go back and read the old testament and see that the most high was furious with his Hebrew Israelites when they adhered and adopted the other nations practices. The most high gave clear instructions to not serve him as the other nations do their gods. The name of this practice is idol worship aka idolatry.

Exodus 20:3-5 King James Version (KJV)

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

If there can be no other gods before the one true living God. Than by definition what exactly is a god?

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary,

  • the perfect and all-powerful spirit or being that is worshipped especially by Christians, Jews, and Muslims as the one who created and rules the universe
  • : a spirit or being that has greatpower, strength, knowledge, etc., and that can affect nature and the lives of people : one of various spirits or beings worshipped in some religions
  • : a person and especially a man who is greatly loved or admire

So what exactly was these people people doing back in time that caused the heavenly father to be so angered with them? Well these people were worshipers of men. They idolize Adam, Eve, Noah, Nimrod, Tammuz, Semiramis, Cush and Ham. Later throughout time these people became deified as gods and goddess. Yes images, statues made of gold, bronze and I’m sure even silver were constructed in honoring these false gods. They go under many different names throughout many different cultures. Both old world and the new world.

So what is an idol?

According to Webster Dictionary,

1. (n.) An image or representation of anything.

2. (n.) An image of a divinity; a representation or symbol of a deity or any other being or thing, made or used as an object of worship; a similitude of a false god.

3. (n.) That on which the affections are strongly (often excessively) set; an object of passionate devotion; a person or thing greatly loved or adored.

4. (n.) A false notion or conception; a fallacy.

Now, you’re probably wonder why are you telling me about biblical history. I’m not interested in reading about. I just simply want to know is having a idol necessary for my personal development? I’m just giving you context. Bare with me all of this will make sense why you should not have a idol.

The Thesaurus version is,

a person who is the object of extreme or uncritical devotion <a movie idol whose reprehensible off screen behavior caused him to experience a spectacular fall from grace>
Synonyms god, hero, icon (also ikon)

With that being said, is there anything wrong with having a person or persons in your life that is your model or a example that act as a guide in assisting you in your maturation in life? No, there is nothing wrong with that. However, you don’t need an idol to assist you in your personal development. That’s a job of a parent. Your parents are supposed to train you up in the way that you shall go that when you get older you will not depart from it. Part of the reason why people seek out idols to help them develop into a man and women, is because they aren’t being taught much at home. The lessons begin in the house.

See when you idolize people you are actually worshipping them. You’re placing a person on a pedistule. In your mind they can do no wrong. When you idolize someone you have created a false image of a person in your mind. This is dangerous because no person is exactly like what we imagine them to be. When you idolize a person, you have to understand this. You set this person above your life as a God like figure that you use as a mark for what your life should measure up to and or be.

The people that you idolize have complete control and dominion over you. What do I mean by this? The success of your life is solely based on the next thing that, that individual says, does and think.

People don’t care whether a individual bares good or bad fruit. They just want someone to be the center of their universe. -fisherofmen

Take for example a celebrity like a movie star, athlete, singers, musicians, tv evangelist, etc. These are people sitting in high positions of power that we as the viewers receive our information from. The image of them that is projected to the masses is clean cut, innocent, charismatic, charming, loving and caring. We as people are told time after time that the reason for them being at the position that they are at. Is based on their character. They are seen as these once in a life time people who seems to the naked eye to have all of the talent, gifts and abilities. They seem as if they are experts at what they do. They seem to do it well and at a high level. We watch their awards, hear of the money, and see how the world treats these people. What am I saying they are placed in such a great light before our eyes. They have been positioned to sit in a prominent seat where they are what all people should strive to be as. They are our examples. But I challenge this because the face that they show on screen is not the same face off screen. As viewers we don’t care because we’re fascinated by what material wealth that they have. That’s enough for us to follow after them. Take them at their word.

Having a idol, I liken it until lust. Why? Well we want what we don’t have. Nine times out of ten out idols are not people who live in third world countries. Our idols are not people who struggle day to day to make ends meet. Our idols are people of prominence. Aye people, my mother corrected me along time ago. I remember Dwyane Wade one of my favorite basketball players. After the 2006 NBA finals I remember seeing dwades face pop up every where. Wether in commercials, tv interviews, billboard advertisements. He was everywhere. She used to watch how I would talk very highly of him like if I had a personal friendship with the dude. She watched how I would religiously watch YouTube clips of his games. Heck I even went as far as chewing three pieces of big red gum like he did. She said something profound.

My mom said, you don’t ever want to copy someone’s life. You don’t want to wish that you had their life or are them. Because you don’t know all of what they went through just to accumulate everything that they have. You will go through pure hell just to be at the same place that they are at. You would not like that.

My dad followed this up with don’t ever idolize man. That’s a dangerous thing to do. You will get your heart broken.

Man is man. We sin and fall short of expectations. That’s why we have the savior who corrects man’s wrong doing. If you want someone that will be a necessity to your personal development. Use the heavenly father. Set him before your life. Read his word and find out his perfect personal development that he has designed for males and females to be.

Why look at someone else and use a lost, confused human as a idol to be your guide for your personal development. When it’s clear that they themselves is still trying to understand who they are. Also they themselves aren’t fully developed. They are still lacking.

I know in this world our math is off and needs to be challenged on all levels. But reality wise two negatives don’t make a positive. Matter of fact I’ll tell you like how the heavenly father tells us,

Matthew 15:14 King James Version (KJV)

14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

A idol is a blind leader that has nothing to offer you. A idol has no substance. I don’t care if your idol is a person, place or things. There is no order or structure that you will gain from a idol that will manifest as success for you personal development. A lot of people won’t like that oh well.

A idol is not beneficial for you personal development because if you go back in time and do your history you will see that most idols we’re developed by man to serve man according to man’s interpretation of what man feels is a necessity for man’s way of living on Earth. In other words man played as a mediator between gods and the world. To sustain balance.

That in itself is crazy. Man is lost and need direction but man is the one telling the creation what map it should use to redirect man on the track that they need to be on.

This is dangerous because in the human mind you don’t want someone to help you develop your personal development. What you want is a person who you can make the center of your universe that will serve you as you see fit. They will take 100% of the blame if your life does not pan our to be what you envisioned it to be. But you will get 100% of the glory for everything that is good.

That’s insane.

Lastly, you don’t need a idol for personal development. There is nothing that a idol can do to help you on your journey of development. It’s called personal development. There are situations that will happen to you in life and it will act as a mentor in helping you understand who and what you are. Allowing you to reach your full potential in life.

So the answer to your question. Is having a idol useful for personal development?