Reflections and Poetry

Keep from Idols: a reflection

Once upon a time I was a performing artist. In fact I’m coming back into the professional arena after over a dozen years’ absence. But today I’m thinking, not about now, nor the intervening years, but about the early days.

This morning as I was doing my usual stretching to keep flexible… the years are waxing and waning even as I write… the words that popped into my head were,

“Keep from Idols”

I didn’t receive this phrase as a warning, but as a remembrance. You see, years ago as an actress, when I was an extra and struggling to get into shows, I was afraid. I felt nervous, small, intimidated by the world of the theatre, even though I had a uniquely marvellous voice.

Why was I afraid?

Because I thought so many others were so much better than I was: better actors, better singers, just better and more talented. I envied them, admired them, and elevated them above myself. I didn’t know it at the time, but I idolised their position, thought I was unworthy, and so I sabotaged any hope of breakthrough into that world.

I had Idols, which took away my confidence and brought fear in its stead. This prevented me from being free to be all I was meant to be.

I had nothing to fear, but I was afraid. And so, although I achieved a high professional standard, I never “made it big” because of my fear.

So readers, as we embark on 2017 we reach toward the ultimate goals for our lives, I’d like to alert you to the lesson I learned. Although I was a firm believer and follower of Jesus, I nevertheless, unwittingly, had idols. I idolised no one in particular, but I feared others; I feared them because of their achievements and their high status. This inhibited me. It prevented me from befriending them and from receiving the favour – and the work – that was available to me. It limited my creative expression and prevented me from walking in the fullness that the skills and talents I’d honed had equipped me for. Most of all, it limited God from working in and through me to reflect His love and beauty and grace.

Let us have no idols. Yes let us have our dreams, ambitions, desires, and goals. These are God-given hopes and dreams, but we need to be sure they are surrendered to Him. Let us enjoy our opportunities, yet not place ourselves high, but humbly recognise our abilities are God-given, our mission is God-given, and there is nothing that cannot be done through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13)


By Dr Sarah Tun

Dr Sarah Tun began her professional career as a teacher. Years later she became a performing artist and administrator to property development. She felt the Call to write full time in 2004. Dr Sarah has traveled extensively, and lived in New York City (for a year), London England (for a long time) and Hong Kong (briefly) before returning to her home in Ontario, Canada, then to Spain and finally now, has re-settled in her adoptive home of England. She graduated with degrees in Drama, Education and diplomas in Acting and Theology. Most recently she was awarded Honorary Doctor of Ministry and became ordained. Her favourite experience to date has been following her Creator and Lord. She doesn't think Life can get any better! Dr Sarah Tun is author, singer, preacher, writing coach and all-round enthusiast, celebrating and seeking to inspire all of us to quench our thirst for deeper intimacy with God through the Holy Spirit.

2 replies on “Keep from Idols: a reflection”

I prefer Philippians 2:12… As Paul said Seek your Salvation with Fear and Trembling… Or better still as you quote Sarah… Philippians 4:13… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield had it emblazoned on his dressing gown and Iron Mike Tyson got smashed… Lot’s of famous Sports men and women are inspired by this verse…

Warriors are not born and they are not made…

Warriors create themselves through trial and error, pain and suffering, and their ability to conquer their own faults.

What makes a brave rugby player? Well, it is not necessarily someone who is hard, tough and unafraid of mixing it if tempers boil over.

No, bravery is about so much more. It’s about being willing to stand up to bigger men, to put your body on the line for the cause week in, week out.

It’s about surviving the rigours of rugby over the course of many years against all kinds of opponents and in all kinds of conditions.

A student said to his master: “You teach me about fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?” The master replied: “It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war”…

Real warriors don’t wear capes or tights… They wear dog tags and combat boots…

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