30 August, 2011

Worthless Idols or Grace? What to Choose?

This morning I was reading for my weekly Bible Read Through Group in the minor prophets and was completely blown away by the depth of this verse in Jonah. I'll do my best to give you a bit of insight into my processing.

Jonah 2:8
"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. " (NIV)

If the truth of this verse doesn't hit you the first time, read it again and let it sink in. My first thought was: "Wow, this is powerful." Powerful and true for the non-Christian as well as the Christian. Non-Christians forfeit the grace that could be theirs by choosing worthless idols such as other religions, relationships, clothes, money, self-centredness, success, etc. and miss out on a purpose-filled and satisfying (though not easy) life with Christ. Even more, the non-believer forfeits the grace of salvation which is offered through Christ when he defeated death on the cross. The best definition of Grace that I've come across is: "Getting what we don't deserve." No one deserves to be saved or even to have a relationship with God, but by His grace He offers both.

The thing is, as Christians, we are not immune to clinging to "worthless idols" and forfeiting the grace that could be ours. In fact, anything other than God, no matter how good a thing it is, is a worthless idol if it takes God's place of centrality in our lives. Any time we decide to go our own way and live in disobedience by placing something other than God on the throne of our lives, we lose out on a measure of His grace. Do we lose the grace of salvation, no! However, we lose out on living in and experiencing grace for each day. When we chose "worthless idols" over following God, our eyes leave Christ and focus on ourselves and life loses it's clarity, purpose, and joy.

I want to be the kind of Christian who worships and clings to God alone! I don't want to forfeit ANY of the grace that God wants to give me.

How are you doing with surrendering "worthless idols" and claiming the grace God wants to give you?


  1. oh such a good question, may we all take the time to really think on these thoughts.

  2. That is a powerful verse...I must ponder that one for a while!

  3. Ang: I'm still spending time pondering it! :)

  4. This is a huge thing. Idols are the things that keep us from fully giving ourselves to God. I think we will be discovering idols until the day we die; Martin Luther called humans "idol factories". Some of my current idols I am working to tear down: control, the admiration/approval of others, the world's view of success. Thanks for this reminder Mon!