Jonah 4: But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
“Pray for your enemies?” I exclaimed! I had been wronged and I did not want these people to remain on the planet let alone have them prosper. GOD was firm with HIS message and I had to finally relent. “LORD, please protect those who set out to harm me. Enable them to know YOUR SON in a saving way. Bless their efforts that are pleasing to YOU.”
About a year later I received news that my adversaries were in fact doing quite well. “See! I knew you would be a gracious GOD!” I pouted.
- Sometimes I want to pout about what GOD is doing in someone else’s life.
- Sometimes I want to be the one on top and those who oppose me, on the bottom.
- Sometimes I want to see the demise of people rather than an escalation.
“Serves them right” were the words I had in mind as I could just picture something bad happening to my foes. BUT GOD had something different in mind.
- GOD says to me “Is it right for you to be angry when I am not?”
- GOD says to me “Will you take MY yoke on you and learn from ME how to be slow to anger?”
- GOD says to me “Can you see that I have held back calamity and MY love is abounding?”
Grace and compassion was the true lesson. I had to spit out my poison and release all the bitterness I had over “those” people in order to see just how blind I was. Over time I was able to truly ask GOD to work in their lives. GOD shows me extreme compassion and wants me to do the same.
- Are you mad about something someone has done?
- Are you busy spreading your bitterness?
- Will you listen to GOD asking you to pay attention to HIS compassion?
- Can you take GOD’s example and spread a healthy dose of compassion to someone today?