Steve Gallagher at Pure Life Ministries has posted a fine article exposing the subtleties and dangers of idolatry–both the visible, obvious types as well as the seeminly innocuous idols we may be unaware of. The entire post is well worth reading, but here we’ll post a definition of idolotry Gallagher references in the article (emphases ours):
At one time or another, every person alive either has had idols of the heart. By its very nature idolatry is extremely deceptive. For most people, it is just subtle enough to allow them to avoid dealing with it.
One of the most comprehensive definitions of idolatry I have read came from an old Puritan preacher named David Clarkson. He wrote that soul idolatry is, “…when anything is more valued, more intended; anything more trusted, more loved, or our endeavors more for any other thing than God… That which we most highly value we make our god… That which we are most mindful of we make our god.”