I Survived My 20s – Idols

[Guest Post by Kimberly Davidson Campbell] – Although I enjoyed my 20s–and now definitely enjoy my 30s more–there was one problem: where I found my identity.


The biggest heart struggle I had was not just about being single, but pleasing men. Not in the “dress cute so someone will ask you out” men pleasing way; but in something that was for me much more dangerous to my walk with God.

I thought if I could be involved enough, cool enough, and popular enough, pretty enough, stylish enough, smart enough, relevant enough–someone would give me my dream ministry position on staff at a church.

There was one church in particular where I spent the bulk of my latter-20s. I wanted the approval of the pastoral team so much–all of whom I knew on a personal level–that I would pretty much be engaged in any ministry to get them to think I was vital to their ministry.

Of course this wasn’t my main motivation.

As I look at the disappointments that came out of that, the paths I pursued, and some of the ministries I participated in, the heart attitudes I had to guard against were pride and the fear of man.

As I’ve now been out of that church for 5+ years I see that, and see God healing and convicting my heart, and see many of the relationships I had there have stayed and deepened. I learned so much of myself and my God as I taught college girls for 3 years–some of those girls are some of the best friends today.

They are a treasure.

If you’re anything like me–you might need a few tangible ways on how to grow.

Here are three ways to idol-smash the fear of man!

(1) No one and no THING can make you worth more in the sight of God.

Jesus did everything you need when He died on a cross for you. The pastor of the church I referenced above used to say “The gospel isn’t D-0, but it is D-O-N-E.”

No relationship can satisfy your heart and no ministry position, job, car, house, or association can satisfy your heart either.

And no amount of ministry being doing by you will make you “better” in relationship with God. Your worth and value come from your creation in the image of God and the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross.

(2) Keep your heart open to what God might be teaching you. 

If you see consistent sin patterns in your life, especially heart sins that may not be evident to others, seek pastoral help. Seek the Word that is able to cut even to the bone and marrow, it is alive and active. Make sure–if you are a woman–that you have an older woman who will walk with you and ask you how you are doing in a certain area (Titus 2).

(3) I won’t say I’m done forever with struggling with the fear of man.

I have grown more secure in who God is for me and who I am in Christ so I don’t look to others to satisfy me.

Perfect, no. 
Growing, yes. 
Recognizing sin, most definitely. 
Knowing Jesus forgives, always.

One book was recommended to me after I left that church and it is still the only book I recommend on this issue of the fear of man: When People Are Big and God is Small by Ed Welch. It is amazingly accurate and Gospel-centered.

Kimberly Davidson Campbell is a wife, mother, freelance writer and photographer who resides in Durham, NC with her family. She graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity in Education. Her passions include life-on-life discipleship, speaking, teaching, writing, cooking, being healthy, and photography – and mostly spending time with her husband and son! She blogs regularly at http://kd316.com.