Word for Today – Jonah 2:8

Stay Loyal

Most of us are familiar with the old adage, You are what you eat. But have you ever pondered this thought: You become like what you worship?

The most famous part of Jonah’s story is how he became an oceanic hors d’oevre and ended up in the belly of a big fish. However, I was struck by the words he uttered as he flirted with death:

“Those who worship vain idols forsake their true loyalty” (Jonah 2:8 NRSV).

Worship lavished on anything else other than the One True God is a waste. Not only is it a display of disloyalty, but it turns us into something that God never intended.

Those who worship money often become cold and calloused. Plus, they get greedy. They chase wealth more than personal relationships. When people bow at the feet of power, they become drunk on the authority of its caustic cocktail; they become bossy and dictatorial. When people pursue fame with anything but an unselfish attitude they sacrifice the wrong things. Many have given up their morals and healthy loyalties instead of keeping it real with hard work. They play Russian Roulette with their lives, often falling victim to the bullet of glitz and glamor that lured them in.

The problem of idol worhip has been around so long that even the Psalms speak of their effects:

Psalm 115:8 – “Those who make them [idols] are like them, so are all those who trust them.”

Psalm 135:18 –¬† “Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them.”

When our loyalties shift to something other than God, we start to connect with that “thing”, no matter what it is. Money, power, and fame are just a few examples. The world has no shortage of things to worship. However, the purpose of Christianity is for believers to become more like Christ, the object of our worship. That becomes difficult, though, when we allow something or someone to take a more prominent place in our lives.

What is the remedy? Worship something of value – worship Christ! No one, not even God, can dictate what people choose to worship in their hearts. But, the traits displayed by someone who worships Jesus are far superior to those¬† displayed by someone idolizing the wrong things. Money, power, and fame can ruin people with the best of intentions. It just happens. Look at our those with an unhealthy approach to money, whether they are rich or poor. Look at the corruption cocktails that government officials sip on in the dark corners of our capitols. Look at the people who are the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. But, don’t overlook the idol worship in our own neighborhoods and homes. The remedy is Jesus: keep him on the throne of your heart.

Only when our loyalties lie with the Savior will we become like him: kind, compassionate, living a godly existence, and secure in our identities. I don’t think it is wrong to enjoy a position of authority, to be famous, to be blessed materially, pursue academics, or participate in sports, but to have an unhealthy/idolatrous love affair with these types of things is wrong. We must keep them in a proper perspective and keep Jesus on the throne. We will become like what we worship, so let’s be loyal to Jesus and become like him.

Word for Today: Stay loyal to Jesus.

Ponder This:

1. Have you ever let Jesus be replaced by something in your life?

2. How do you stay loyal to Jesus?

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 3:50 am and is filed under jonah, Word for the Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

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