Swapping One Idol for Another

One of the key elements of Lysa TerKeurst’s book Made to Crave, is that it offers a worthy “want to” for losing weight. Of course, God alone is worthy.

Certainly, we can have lots of reasons and “want tos” for losing weight and many, if not most of them are good: increased energy, improved health, better appearance. But when food has been an idol, as it has been for me, we have to be careful that our “want to” does not cross the line of becoming its own idol.

A friend unknowingly helped me see this in myself. We were discussing our struggles with our weight and during our conversation, she said, “You do really well when you have a goal.” She was referring to a date deadline, a special occasion that was approaching. And she was right. In the past, when I succeeded at losing weight, I did so because I wanted to look particularly good for a special occasion, namely several weddings in which I was an attendant. But in between those special occasions, I would relax my eating so much that I would gain back much of the weight I had lost.

Through her words, I realized that the reason my weight loss success was temporary was because I was simply trading one idol (food) for another (being thin). When the idol of thinness rose up in the form of a special occasion, I sought to achieve it and usually succeeded. But when the occasion passed by, the old idol of food quickly retook its throne. The vicious cycle of weight gain and loss was always tied to whichever idol was on the throne.

There is a weight loss mantra that says, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” I’ve said this to myself a few times. But I know better now. Thinness cannot be my primary motivator. Is it a motivator? Certainly! I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that I like being thinner and feel much better about my appearance when I am. But when it is my only motivator, as it has been in the past, it crosses that line and becomes just another idol.

For the first time, I am fleeing from the idol of food and not running toward another idol. Instead I am running toward God.

That is what makes Lysa’s book different from others, and why I expect this journey to end in victory!

Have you ever fled from one idol, only to find yourself running toward another?

In hope,

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.


  1. I so agree, Shelli! This particular journey has been one where I feel like God is telling me to not set any goals of weight loss or size by a particular date or time so that I can only concentrate on Him. It’s not been easy and I’ve failed often but I have sensed my thought processing change as I surrender those thoughts to Him.

    Thanks for the encouragement today!