It probably isn't much different than Jonah in the Bible. God told Jonah that He had a job for him to do. He wanted Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh to give them a message. Jonah didn't like going to a people he didn't much care for. So what was his answer? Flee. Run as fast as he can and as far as he can.
Didn't do him much good, though, did it? God brought him right back, but only after the much-told story of the fish. Okay, whale. Or whatever it was. It was big. Point is is that Jonah was still going to end up doing what God wanted him to do, but along with it some hard, learned lessons.
I kind of feel like that. No, I'm not another Jonah. And no, God isn't telling me (right now) to go to some city with people I despise and preach to them. But in my small existence, I do think that God is telling me to love people and care enough about them to share Christ with them.
I've been increasingly frustrated with people lately. It's not everyone of course, but it's everyone who's diametrically opposed to everything I believe in. Such as homosexuals, liberals, politicians, and Muslims. The thing is is that I want to run...hide...get away! I want to go to some tropical island and get away from all the insanity.
I feel like reason has taken an extended vacation. People either are clueless or just very, very...dare I say...stupid. Okay, don't get all bent out of shape. Though I feel like that, I know that's a very unrealistic and dangerous way to think. I don't have the market on common sense or reason. I'm very much aware that life does not revolve around me. Now if other people could admit the same thing, we'd really be getting somewhere.
But though I realize this, I need God's help. It's hard for me to look beyond peoples' idealogies. Though, I admit, I had my idealogies before I was saved by Jesus Christ, I have to say that I'm thankful that God didn't wait for me to change first (my way of thinking) before He saved me. The truth is is that we're all opposed to God in our hearts, like enemies, before He saves us.
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
And I have to remember that God's love is so much more encompassing. His love supercedes my ability to love or care about others. The Bible even says that in 1 John 4:19 that, "We love because he first loved us." The fact that it's God who gives me the ability to love others should tell me something about His character. The two greatest commandments are to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30
So why do I struggle with this so much? Is it because I feel like I want to be right? Is it some superiority complex? Am I pious like the Pharisees? Sometimes I fear that I am. Is that what Jonah was struggling with? I think so. Jonah struggled with the fact that there were these people, the Ninevites, who basically God was calling him to go to and tell them about their sin. Well, actually, preach about it. Same thing. But wasn't his concern not so much that he wouldn't be right but that by telling the Ninevites about their sin they would repent and get right with God? He didn't want his enemies to be saved!
Wow! That's food for thought. When I think about people that I strongly disagree with, do I want to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them so that they could recognize their need for a Savior and be saved? Or do I secretly wish that they would perish along with their views and idealogies? Hmmm, that really doesn't speak well of me if that is true. I'm nowhere near the person that God has called me to be if that is what is really going on. Please forgive me Lord.
Instead of having to go through what Jonah did, running away and having to learn some real tough life lessons, I hope that I can learn from his example and be extremely sensitive to what God would have for me to learn and do now. I want to care for people, but that's going to take some work. I need to learn to look beyond our differences and realize that ultimately it's not important for people to think like me. What really matters is that people come face-to-face with their greatest need. And that is Jesus. If I keep on insisting on being right and having my way, I'm not helping God at all and only getting in the way. May I learn that before it's too late. May we all learn that before it's too late.