Jonah 1:1-2 (MSG) One day long ago, God’s Word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: “Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They’re in a bad way and I can’t ignore it any longer.”3 But Jonah got up and went the other direction to Tarshish, running away from God. He went down to the port of Joppa and found a ship headed for Tarshish. He paid the fare and went on board, joining those going to Tarshish—as far away from God as he could get.
Servant leaders are called to do things that are beyond their feelings.
Take a look at the Old Testament figure, Jonah. As a point of reference, he hated the people of Nineveh for their cruelty toward his people, the Israelites.
He would’ve been excited to go 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 like many of us had a hard time helping people who had clearly opposed him and his interest.
Jonah wanted no part in this mission of mercy. He tried to run away, but God placed him in difficult circumstances and confronted his bias.
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 practically 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.
As leaders, we must be able to identify our own biases and shortcomings.
Your spiritual transformation will be stunted until you let go of your prejudices toward any group of people. Seeing your own prejudices doesn’t come easy.
You will need to ask God and those close to you to help you see areas of bias in your life. Once you see them, confess them and ask God to change your heart.
This is real work people of God, and it must be done. or we will be rendered ineffective at whatever it is we do.
In fact, embracing diversity and inclusion will help to mitigate complex challenges within any environment. In this message, it seems the Lord was teaching Jonah about diversity and inclusion.
As a critical thinker, writer, and speaker whose ideas and advice are sought after by corporations, nonprofits, and leaders around the world, I make a clear and compelling case for diversity and inclusion.
I have personally been discriminated against in the workplace, ministry, family, and friendships.
I am fully aware of the pain and rejection as just a few of the challenges connected to bias and discriminatory practices.
I’ve also had to wrestle with my own bias thoughts and actions against others. At the end of the day, there are no easy answers to the bias epidemic that has plagued our world since the beginning of humankind.
Have you allowed your upbringing or experiences to prejudice you against a particular group of people? Women? Men? The poor? The rich? Latinos? Asians? Jews? Blacks or White?
As we look around our world today, we experience the underpinnings of Bias, prejudices, hatred, loss of life, acts of violence like never before.
We the people of God have to be a part of the solution we so desperately need!
Quote: “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.” Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Point to ponder
When we are biased against people, it leads to hatred and a lack of compassion toward others.
On the contrary, God’s people are to be known for their love and compassion. Surrendering your life to God means recognizing and identifying your prejudices.
How are you doing?
The Lord in this message drafted Jonah to serve people who he hated and despised. How are you doing with your bias? in a world where bias and prejudice are pervasive.
I’d love to help your ministry, career, organization, business, and you personally deal with the challenge of working through the effects of Biasses.
Pastor James Baker, Jr. and Our Leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of October 2019 by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Mrs. Angela Harrison, Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. David Straker, Mr. William Jones, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Ms. Darlene Simmons, Ms. Itholear Abbott, Mrs. Barbara Mason, Ms. Mable Bazemore, Ms. Theresa Lewis, Mr. Ron Clarke, Ms. Divinia Stewart, Ms. Lykeisha Thompson, and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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Pastor James Baker Jr.