Jonah 4 (KJV) But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
I have come to realize that “Prejudice” leads to hatred and a lack of compassion toward others. To the contrary, God’s people are to be known for their love and compassion. Surrendering your life to God means recognizing and relinquishing your prejudices. How are you doing in a world consumed in prejudices?
Take a look at the Old Testament figure, Jonah. Jonah hated the people of Nineveh for their cruelty toward his people, the Israelites. He would have loved to have gone to Nineveh and declare God’s judgment against them. But God told Jonah to go and warn them of destruction so they might avert God’s wrath. Jonah wanted no part in this mission of mercy. He tried to run away, but God placed him in difficult circumstances. When he reluctantly obeyed and preached to the Ninevites, they changed their ways. And not surprisingly, Jonah was upset at God’s mercy on the Ninevites.
God literally had to force Jonah to let go of his prejudice and hatred. This was necessary so he could share God’s mercy with the people he hated most. And what better way of God to use Jonah the man with the prejudice to extend the message of Salvation to the people Nineveh. God stopped Jonah from being a Hater and the Lord will do the same to you and me!
Point to ponder- Your spiritual transformation will be stunted until you fully let go of your prejudices toward any people group. Seeing your own prejudices is very difficult challenge. You need to ask God and those close to you to help you see areas of prejudice in your life. Once you see them, confess them and ask God to change your heart. We experience today a time a great hatred in our society: Black lives matter, The lives our Police matter, The lives our family and friends matter. Be careful not to allow your upbringing or experiences to prejudice you against a particular group of people? Women? Men? The poor? The rich? Asians? Jews? Black or White?
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.
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