Today’s post is a continuation of the story of Jonah. This is part of the series #SheSharesTruth in which the ladies behind SheReadsTruth have encouraged readers to write their reflections about the week’s assigned scripture during Lent.
Last week we ended with Jonah giving thanks and praise to God before being vomited out of a whale. This week we begin with Jonah shouting out the prophecy that the city of Nineveh would be overthrown (this word can also mean turn over, to have a change of heart). The people of the city repented and truly did have a change of heart by becoming believers in God.
Jonah wasn’t happy about this sudden change. Instead of being happy to see people turn from their destructive ways and instead embrace God; he chose to complain to God for making him look like a fool! Again Jonah expresses his death wish; he asks God to take his life because he does not want to feel like a fool who had given an incorrect prophecy.
I’m glad to read the author of Jonah continued with his theme of exaggerated humour. This is a serious topic but people need to see how foolish they look. Yes, folks, God wants us to give godly warnings to others who are living a life of habitual sin, but not for the purpose of punishing them. God wants us to share the good news about Him! He tells us and shows us that He is, “a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.”
God’s love and mercy isn’t reserved exclusively for “good Christians”. His love and mercy is extended to everyone including those we dislike for whatever reasons. When you point out the wrongs of others your expectation should be that the offender repents and changes their ways according to GOD’s expectations, not YOURS. God knows the entire story of individuals, groups and even Nations; we don’t! God knows the plans he has for those who follow His teachings; we don’t! God knows what’s best for each person; we don’t!
What I’ve taken from these last two chapters is that God shows love and mercy to those we don’t like and those we deem to be undeserving of second chances. We can’t tell people how God is going to judge them, without telling them how God is going to love them.
When you confront others about their negative habitual behaviours or about how they have wronged you; do you have a set of expectations as to how you expect them to apologise or how exactly they should change their ways?
Are you the opposite of Jonah, do you hope that those who have wronged you and those you do not like will change according to God’s will as opposed to your own will?
Take time for self-reflection and honestly ask yourself if you are the type of person who expects apologies and the transformations of others to be according to your own set of standards. If this describes you, ask God for forgiveness and ask Him to soften your heart and be more accepting of where each person is at in their own journey of godly transformation.