Thursday, August 2, 2012
Reflection...Are you being selfish?
When studying I came across the book of Jonah. I had read the book of Jonah numerous times and who could not remember the story about a man being swallowed by a fish. But when I read this book It gave new meaning to me. I learned about being selfish and trying to run away from what God wants you to do. Since God has given me a gift to teach, each time I am studying God is always teaching me so that when I get it and receive it for myself I can then teach others. So the Selfish part of this story stood out today and God wanted to me to teach on this.
We know the Story of Jonah, He tried to run when God wanted him to go Nineveh to help the people get out of their mess. He almost caused a boat full of men and their families to be destroyed because of his selfishness. Once they found out who the cause of this great storm was he was thrown off the boat into the sea where he was swallowed up by a large fish. Although God caused the winds and the fish to swallow up Jonah, it was because he was running. Finally Jonah came to his senses and prayed for deliverance. God heard his prayers and he was returned back to dry land and when God asked him again to go to Nineveh he went. Jonah preached there and the people turned from their ways and The God of all creation became their God. But in all this Jonah felt that they did not deserve God's Grace, Mercy, and Compassion. What should have been a happy time for Jonah being a man of God was selfishness.
Yes these people disregarded God and his ways but they repented of their sins and turned to God. Jonah was just being selfish thinking he and only his people deserved God's grace and Mercy. He was so selfish that he wanted to Die. He said that is is better for me to die than to live because God was so full of Grace and Mercy on others. Even in all his selfishness and Complaining God covered him. Jonah sat outside the city and made a shelter just to not be around these people. God showed Mercy on him even when he was being ridiculous and planted a plant by him that sprouted up to be shade for him to deliver him from his misery. Jonah 4:5-6. Even in this Jonah still found somethings to be wrong and this book ends with Jonah being the same and unchanged with his selfishness.
The reason I decided to share and go into details about this books because when I read it, I laughed out loud. Why? Because it was so stupid and foolish of Jonah to despised the mistakes of others that he did not want then forgiven even when they acknowledged their wrong and turned from it. He pouted and acted like a baby.
Now my question today is As a believer we are to be forgiving as Christ forgave us, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we are to care about the souls of others ,but how many times that people have made mistakes, and may have made them more than once we don't treat them as we should? We don't forgive them like God forgave us or our many sins? We think their sins are greater than ours. We pray and believe that people get saved, and come to repentance, but when they do and they are getting the attention and nourishment they need, deep inside we feel a little Jealous. We have to remember how God shown his grace and mercy on us. Don't think only of yourselves and only of what you want God to do for you.
I like to use an example from my own life. When I started eating healthy almost 2 years ago, I was buy healthy foods and drinks, really researching how to be healthy. One day God spoke to me and said don't forget the kids. He said that to me because I was so focused on getting myself healthy so that I can be healthy and fit while doing the work of God, I forgot about the kids and making sure they were eating just as good as me. I was being selfish unintentionally but it was a form of it and God wanted me to be aware of it. So in your lives whether it is family members that keep going back and forth, in and out of the faith, continue to show them grace and mercy as God shown you. If your Husband or wife continue to make the same mistakes continue to have the same grace and mercy. Are you sharing what you know about God? The Good News? As a believer never be to selfish and your own thoughts and ways to not rejoice in deliverance. Remember he delivered you! Don't think you are the only one to deserve God's grace and mercy. Continue to pray for their deliverance and never run away from an opportunity to help someone one get better.
Please read the entire book of Jonah.
Scripture to go with reading materials: