I love to read, and I’ve read a lot of good books.
I’ve even read a number of great books.
But the list of books that have literally changed my life? That list is pretty short.
And the list of life-changing books that I plan to read again and again? Even shorter still.
But friends, my most recent read is near the top of that short list. Through the reading of the book and the walking of the journey it accompanies, I am a very different person than I was a few weeks ago.
Love Idol: Letting go of your need for approval and seeing yourself through God’s eyes, by Jennifer Dukes Lee, is a game changer. Through the bold and transparent telling of her own story of seeking the approval of others, Jennifer leads us on a journey of our own. It’s a journey where the horizon is often blocked by the clutter of our own love idols, but as we walk the road together we occasionally – and with increasing frequency – can see the road before us with honest clarity as those idols are knocked the kicked to the ground.
My own journey involved smashing the idol of approval from others as found in my clothing – the way I dress. Now, several weeks after beginning this journey, I can say with honesty that the idol is losing its appeal. It’s not as shiny any more. It doesn’t look like something I want to keep around. And frankly, I think I’m dragging it out to the curb.
Because the truth is, I’ve uncovered the reality of what an idol is, and I’ve become acquainted with the truth that sets prisoners free.
I don’t think I have to look perfect in order to be accepted.
I don’t believe I have to perform perfectly to be perfectly loved.
I don’t insist I have to be perfect to stare Perfection in the face…and find love in His eyes.
Because as Jennifer writes, I am 100% preapproved by God, and “His love is not linked to [my] puny performances but to a Savior’s performance on [my] behalf.”
Nothing I can do will ever change His immense love for me, and even better? Nothing I do or say or think or believe or wear can ever make Him love me any more.
He loves me perfectly, so I am free to be comfortable with myself in my imperfection. He accepts me, so the temporal, conditional acceptance I find anywhere else will always pale in comparison. The truth is that God – my Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer – “stamped me with a seal that said, ‘This one is Mine.'”
Jennifer’s honest telling of her story invited me to look honestly at my own story, and it believe with all my heart that the Lord intends to use it to do a similar work in the lives of all who read this book. Chains are being broken, shackles are dropping to the ground, and feet are running with newfound freedom.
And love idols? They’re being smashed. I honestly can’t think of anything better to say than that.
To order the book and add your voice to the chorus of the freed, click here.
To join the movement and watch the idols come crashing down, click here.
And to read more about my own journey with this amazing book, click here.