Maybe you’ve been AIM-ing this week. Maybe you got to the “Repent” section and found the Master-Promise-Demand worksheet to be particularly eye-opening/helpful/convicting. And maybe you want to dig a little deeper into identifying which masters you serve.

Or maybe you haven’t picked up a copy of the AIM booklet yet but sense that something is amiss in your life. You feel torn, anxious. You want to follow Jesus and prioritize his agenda but are unsure how to do that.

Good news! Jesus died to free you from enslaving, deceitful masters. His Spirit is more powerful than the most entrenched idols and most demanding masters. And as a way to give you some practical traction in applying the Spirit's power, consider Tim Keller's series of diagnostic statements, each of which begin with the phrase, “Life only has meaning/I only have worth if…” The 20 different “answers” will help you understand what masters/idols you serve and, in the process, how you can turn from them to seek the promises and provision of Christ.

These statements are from Keller’s book Counterfeit Gods. We found them posted online today and have included them below for your reference.

May the Holy Spirit guide you in your fight to serve the only Master worth serving.

“Life only has meaning/I only have worth if …

I have power and influence over others.” (Power Idolatry)

I am loved and respected by _____.” (Approval Idolatry)

I have this kind of pleasure experience, a particular quality of life.” (Comfort idolatry)

I am able to get mastery over my life in the area of _____.” (Control idolatry)

people are dependent on me and need me.” (Helping Idolatry)

someone is there to protect me and keep me safe.” (Dependence idolatry)

I am completely free from obligations or responsibilities to take care of someone.” (Independence idolatry)

I am highly productive and getting a lot done.” (Work idolatry)

I am being recognized for my accomplishments, and I am excelling in my work.” (Achievement idolatry)

I have a certain level of wealth, financial freedom, and very nice possessions.” (Materialism idolatry)

I am adhering to my religion’s moral codes and accomplished in its activities.” (Religion idolatry)

This one person is in my life and happy to be there, and/or happy with me.” (Individual person idolatry)

I feel I am totally independent of organized religion and am living by a self-made morality.” (Irreligion idolatry)

My race and culture is ascendant and recognized as superior.” (Racial/cultural idolatry)

A particular social grouping or professional grouping or other group lets me in.” (Inner ring idolatry)

My children and/or my parents are happy and happy with me.” (Family idolatry)

Mr. or Ms. “Right” is in love with me.” (Relationship Idolatry)

I am hurting, in a problem; only then do I feel worthy of love or able to deal with guilt.” (Suffering idolatry)

my political or social cause is making progress and ascending in influence or power.” (Ideology idolatry)

I have a particular kind of look or body image.” (Image idolatry)


Trevor Sides

Author Trevor Sides

More posts by Trevor Sides