My husband use to be an idol for me. If he was ok, I was ok. If he thought I was ok, it made me feel good and valued. He was my god. He was at the center of my world, my life. He made me who I was. I thought more of pleasing him than what I thought God wanted me to do.
My children have also been an idol for me. If they were successful and happy so was I.
Tim Keller says you don't know an alcoholic unless you take away their alcohol. I have never thought of myself as a materialistic person. I don't get a thrill out of new things or shopping. When we moved back to our farm we had to store some things in a barn. I sat and saw those things be destroyed by pest, weather, dirt. Some of the children's things that they had when they were young. It broke my heart. I thought I didn't know "things" meant so much to me. Then the Lord showed me yes they have a place in your heart because they are sentimental but they are just things. You cannot take them with you. What I value is you and my relationship with you. I had to just let it go. Nothing could be done and I could let it rob me of my joy and be miserable or decide it was indeed just things.
I am very sensitive to my heart. When I have a wrong motive, sinful attitudes, sin of omission the Spirit convicts me. I am aware of who and what I am worshiping. When I get the first indication or conviction of my heart having something too important to me I go to the Lord and ask Him to change my heart and He does. John Bettler said when a desire becomes a demand it is an idol. We are never sin free. We have wrong motives about everything we do. We will not be sin free until we go to heaven. The only way we can ever go to our Father God is because of the blood of Jesus. I probably think too much about sin and need to think more about Jesus and His love for me. Our sins are forgiven as far as the east is from the west. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Christ death and resurrection paid in full to God for our sins. He made peace with God for us. God is no longer angry over our sin. Jesus said it is finished. We are to live in that freedom and grace everyday. God wants us to have a clean conscience so we can hear the Spirit and be led by Jesus in how to live and love others. You cannot have an open and honest relationship if you are feeling guilty all the time. If you are feeling guilty we can repent of our sins and experience the love and forgiveness of Christ that is always ours. When Christ love touches your heart you just know that you know that you know. He touched me oh He touched me and made me whole.