Sipping Saltwater ebook

How to find lasting satisfaction in a world of thirst

A unique take on understanding idolatry and how it affects Christians, particularly in our contemporary culture of numerous hidden idols.

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A unique angle on the problem of idolatry and how it affects Christians, particularly in our contemporary culture of numerous hidden idols.

The uniqueness of this book comes in the metaphor of sipping saltwater. Even as Christians, we 'sip' on idols such as money, relationships, careers, sex, food, human approval…the list is endless. These things promise to satisfy us—to quench our thirst. In the end, however, they fail to do so and leave us thirstier than we were before drinking them. To make matters worse, we are left with devastating hangovers—the negative consequences of our idolatry.

This book enables readers to identify their own source(s) of saltwater and explains how to quench their thirst with Jesus’ living water—the only drink that will ever truly satisfy us both now and for eternity. It inspires readers to go on in the Christian life as they started—by making Jesus the center of our lives and giving our worship to him.

Product details


  • 1. Our nagging thirst
  • 2. Our drink of choice
  • 3. The saltwater cycle
  • 4. Living water
  • 5. Water fountains
  • 6. Quenched
  • 7. God - Garbage - Gift
  • 8. Money
  • 9. Sex
  • 10. Control
  • 11. Comfort
  • 12. Busyness
  • 13. People
  • 14. Food
  • 15. Works


Look Inside

(247.3 KB)


Author Steve Hoppe
ISBN 9781784981839
Format Electronic book text
First published 2017
Language English
Pages 160
Publisher The Good Book Company

The idea that we are constantly sipping saltwater is an extremely helpful image which is then carefully applied to our battle with sin. It is beautifully honest, packed with stories, and ultimately full of hope in Christ.

Jonty Allcock

Lead Pastor, The Globe Church, London and author of Lost, Fearless and Hero

Our lives get more busy yet more empty. Steve gets this—he gets us. He describes what you feel, why you feel like that, and walks with you to a better way. And, somehow, he does it in a way that makes you feel heard, even befriended. Within two pages you will be drawn in by Steve's honesty and how he seems to speak to you. Then you read the entire book—hope rising with each chapter. Since one chapter will be uniquely yours, you will double back, re-read that chapter, and act on that hope.

Ed Welch

Counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF)

In Sipping Saltwater, Steve grabs your attention from the very first sentence. He sheds unique insight into idolatry through vivid imagery and solid biblical instruction. He powerfully points you to the only One who can and will quench your thirst. I will be sharing this book with those I counsel—both professing Christians and those who profess no faith at all.

Timothy Lane

President of the Institute for Pastoral Care and Former Executive Director at CCEF

Independent reviews

Sipping Saltwater

Tim Challies,, November 8th 2017

If you are unfamiliar with the category of heart idolatries, you will not do much better than Sipping Saltwater as an introduction. And even if it is a familiar category, this book may serve as a valuable refresher. I highly recommend it.... continue reading

Customer reviews

“Gripping and challenging”

(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

I think this is the first time I've ever read a christian book which I couldn't put down. It's so well written - simple but punchy. It challenges even the most dry and weary heart to drink deep from Jesus, who satisfies more than anything else. Its so relatable - each chapter convicted me in new ways and showed how what I 'drink' plays out, and how idols suck me dry, in ways I'd never thought of before.


“Sipping freshwater too”

(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

Steve Hoppe's gripping real-life stories firmly ground what he says about idolatry in day-to-day reality. He shows how we all sip saltwater idols instead of the life-giving water of Jesus. But he's also honest enough to point out that we tend only to sip that freshwater too. This book will help you spot idols in your heart and will lead you simultaneously away from false fixes and towards quenching in Christ.


“Honest, encouraging and full of hope”

(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

We all long to be truly satisfied but so often look in the wrong places to have our desire met. We look to the good things God has generously given us - people, money, food, comfort, etc - rather than to the giver himself. And we are left unsatisfied. Thirsty. Steve Hoppe understands this. He writes compassionately as a friend who struggles with the same idols we do, gently encouraging us to find our hope and fulfillment in Jesus - the source of living water. I thought I knew my idols well but Steve has exposed a couple more. He has also reminded me of the good news I often forget - the gospel has power to bring about real change in my heart. It is possible to know true joy and lasting satisfaction. I will be recommending this book to everyone I know!


“Encouraging read”

(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

I found this book encouraging. We all have struggles in life but this book is must if you are struggling or know someone who is.


“Real Life Struggles and Solutions”

(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

Steve writes candidly about our (and his) need to find lasting satisfaction and value, but in the wrong things, or in the wrong way. The book is filled with real life examples, including his own struggles. I found it easy to identify with a number of them. The analogy of sipping salt water, which looks like it would quench our thirst, to believing that achievement, or money, or sex, etc will give lasting satisfaction is a great comparison. Steve uses many examples from scripture to help us see things from God's perspective. For instance, in Chapter 8 on money, Steve clearly points out that money is not evil by itself, although we can demonize it. Nor is it to be loved and hoarded. It is only when we put money in its proper place by earning, using it for living, saving and giving, as God intended, that we quit sipping the saltwater of money. We try so hard to find permanent value and satisfaction in money and other things, when God alone will satisfy us. The basic message of how to drink God's living water, finding salvation thru Jesus alone, is clearly presented throughout the book. A very good and "must read" book.


“Relatable, Convicting, and Inspiring”

(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

Thank you, Steve, for writing with such transparency and vulnerability. We all have our struggles - Steve courageously walks us through his with the hope that it would encourage us in ours and deepen our relationship with the Lord. Steve uses powerful and relatable examples of how just about anything can be received as a gift or become an idol. Even behavior praised by society can be displeasing to the Lord. This is the best book I've read this year!


“Thought-provoking, sincere lens into the pervasive issue of idolatry”

(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

As a scholar I am drawn towards literature that presents arguments that are accessible yet challenging, relevant while innovative, grounded in supporting evidence, and stimulating to engender productive reflection and rich discussion. Sipping Saltwater not only exhibits these qualities but has significantly impacted me by illuminating areas of struggle, inviting reflection and application, and providing a clear path to experiencing freedom from these struggles. The author's stories, Biblical underpinnings, inclusion of a breadth of idols permeating our culture, and practical implications will captivate any audience.


“Everyone needs to read this book”

(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

Once I started to read this book I couldn’t put it down. I was touched by the author’s honestly and the details he shared about his own personal experiences. It reminded me of how this beautiful world we live in is really a temporary place and the real prize is not a fancy car or big house or new shoes but eternal life with God. How often do we forget? It’s okay to enjoy the gifts God has given us, but when idolize these gifts that’s when we start “Sipping Saltwater”. Steve Hoppe breaks these lessons down so clearly and provides Bible references which is great for a novice Bible reader like myself. Before I even finished the book I was thinking of ways I could be closer to God. If you know someone that is struggling in any capacity this book is for them. I would recommend to all my family and friends.



(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

Everyone once in a while there comes a compelling collection of words that not only refresh the heart and mind but encourage the soul. This book fits that description. It will meet the reader at whatever season they are in and point them to the True Hope. It's insightful, it's practical, it's light yet at the same time, weighty. A page turner - I read it in 24 hours. It also makes a for wonderful gift. The only negative feedback I have is I wish this book existed ten years ago because salt water hangovers are the worst!


“Author sharing his own struggles of sipping salt water”

(Review written for 'Sipping Saltwater')

My dear friend recommended this book to me and I am so glad she did. Once I opened this book I couldn't put it down. The author, Steve, is so open and humble about sharing his own struggles and shame....his humility is what really drew me into what he was trying to say. Fascinating and convicting all at the same time. We don't realize how we are floating in the middle of the wide big ocean sipping salt water and....dying slowly. I will recommend this to book any Christians...or non christians. I just noticed they have an audio version. I am going to get that so my busy husband can listen, too.


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Sipping Saltwater (ebook) | Steve Hoppe | $9.99