The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
I know this sounds weird to say, but I feel like I'm an idol to my mother. What can I do to help her see Jesus instead of me?
I've never thought about that question before. Hmm. "What can I do to help my mother not idolize me?"
The least important answer to that question, I think, is trying to persuade the mother that you're not worthy of it. Because I don't think that will work. I think that will sound humble, and she will admire you all the more.
That's not her problem. Her problem is not that she doesn't know you make mistakes. Her problem is that Christ, God, does not have the place in her solar system.
My picture often in how to keep all the affections in our lives in their proper place is to picture them as planets in the orbit around the sun. The sun is Christ and his majesty and glory and grace and goodness and justice and wisdom. And we admire him and love him so much in his blazing center that our love for food, family, house, church—all these planets in our lives are kept in a proper orbit. And none of them becomes an idol.
But if the sun is dislodged from the gravitational center of the solar system of our lives, the planets go haywire. And they do things like becoming idols. They try to be suns, and a child can be a sun in our lives.
So I think what this person could do then is to try to direct their mother's attention to a church where Christ is exalted, to the word where Christ is exalted, to small groups where Christ is exalted, to a Bible study fellowship where other women are exulting.
Then the mother can be in a context where she sees that these women are happy, these women have kids who are not perfect, and these women seem to be finding their joy in God and finding their contentment and their satisfaction and their peace in God's grace in their lives, whether their kids are perfect or totally in prison.
So I think the answer is to direct the mother towards a fellowship where other women could model for this mom that there is a better way to be happy than to idolize your children.