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9 Signs You Might Be an ‘Information Idolator’

9 Signs You Might Be an 'Information Idolator'

If we’re honest, even believers wrestle with letting go of our idols. In many cases, they’re lusts for position, power, or prestige. In other cases, the idol is a controlling desire to be “in the know.” It’s more than simply being a leader in the church who’s aware of stuff, though; it’s finding value and self-worth in knowing more stuff than others do. Use this list to determine if you might be an “information idolater.”

1. You simply delight in being on the inside of leadership discussions. You can’t necessarily explain why it’s so important to you, but you find satisfaction—glee, even—when you know stuff others may not know.

2. You intentionally and strategically develop relationships with the people who are most likely “in the know.” You might even be slick about it – others don’t quickly realize what you’re doing – but you know the information holders by name.

3. You get angry at somebody when you have to learn something only through the grapevine. After all, you surely deserve to know before others do—and someone apparently failed to keep you in the loop.

4. You get jealous when others seem to be more “in the know” than you are. You may not recognize your jealousy, but your feelings toward others are clear; indeed, you might even “righteously” condemn them as busybodies and gossips.

5. You quietly, but clearly let others know that you know stuff they don’t know. You purposely say things like, “I can’t give you the details, but I know that’s not the case,” “The pastor and I talked about that last week,” or “I know, but I can’t tell anyone yet.”

6. You gossip what you know under the guise of asking for prayer. You might, in fact, genuinely want others to pray—but part of your reason for sharing the request is to let others know something you already knew.

7. You want to know what’s going on not only in your church, but also in other churches. That is, you’re aware of the controversies, conflicts, and chatter of more than one congregation—and you’re glad you do.

8. Other church members see you as an information idolater. They’re not likely to use that language, but they still know you want to be the “go to” person if they need to know anything. They watch you work the system to stay on the inside.

9. You’re angered by this post. That’s not my intent, but I realize some readers won’t like these thoughts. If any of them hit home to you, I encourage you to take your thoughts to the Lord.

That’s what I’ve had to do as I write this post, as I see myself in some of these descriptors. I want to guard my heart, though, so please pray for me.

This article originally appeared here.

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Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.