How Great Are Your Convictions?

This post is a conversation from Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals. He is here talking to his grandmother, a Jewish survivor from the Second World War:

“I became sicker and sicker from not eating, and I’m not just talking about being skin and bones. I had sores all over my body…I ate things i wouldn’t tell you about…The worst it got was near the end. A lot of people died right at the end, and I didn’t know if I could make it another day. A farmer, a Russian, God bless him, he saw my condition, and he went into his house and came out with a piece of meat for me.

“He saved your life.”

“I didn’t eat it.”

“You didn’t eat it?”

“It was pork. I wouldn’t eat pork.”


“What do you mean why?”

“What because it wasn’t kosher?”

“Of course.”

“But not even to save your life?”

“If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save.”

I read this quote in the school magazine as part of an argument for veganism, but I don’t think that that the grandma had that in mind at all. The quote is more directed at religious conviction–for her it was the Mosaic law. I am continually mystified by this Christian faith of which I consider myself a part, that would give up so much for God. Surely, we must truly believe in God to fulfill how much Jesus demands of us.

What convictions do you have, and how far would you go to save it?


About JN
what happened to dignity / never see it on MTV.

4 Responses to How Great Are Your Convictions?

  1. David says:

    He bro, here you’ve got it.

    Jesus did say that unless we take up our cross and follow Him, we’d not be worthy of him. I’m so sick of how “figurative” we’ve gotten in our faith- but that has a lot of meaning in it.

    The Christian should start by asking “what do I consider to be life?”

    Christ said “sell everything and follow me”.

    So we have to ask, are we following Him, or are we pursuing our own courses, accumulating for ourselves and tying ourselves down?

    • JN Hong says:

      It is certainly a monumental task that Christ is demanding of us, our whole lives is consumed by this one obsession if we were to truly follow those words. So monumental that without the renewing of the Holy Spirit, I am sure we could not accomplish these things by our own power and volition.

      I am hoping that my own compromises would come to light, and I would come closer to what God would want me to be. You really need to that conviction of the Holy Spirit, or else you are just avoiding the question of God–would you sell everything and follow me?

  2. I just posted something on this note. Then went “tag surfing”. I’m happy to have found your post. And it’s an echo of my heart tonite. May God bless your work as you continue to listen.

    by His Grace.

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