This is part 2 of Erin Davis' post. Go back and read Part 1 if you need to....
#2 Jonah didn’t love those he was called to reach.
First Corinthians 13:1 reminds us, “If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.”
If you don’t genuinely love the people you are trying to minister to, you’re just being obnoxious. Jonah sure came off this way as he whined about the way God spared the Ninevites. We repeat Jonah’s mistake when we fail to genuinely love the girls in our care.
#3 Jonah wanted to control the fruit.
Jonah eventually delivered the message, but he held on tightly to the reigns. He wanted to control how the Ninevites would respond. Even more grievous, he wanted to control God’s response. I do the same thing when I speak, teach and write. I want to manipulate girls to respond a certain way and I want God to move on my cue. When I do so I forget that I am not the Gardener. My job is to obey God. Bearing fruit in the lives of the girls in my life is His job, not mine.
Jonah’s ministry legacy is tragic. The entire city of Ninevah is spared but Jonah’s story ends with him grumbling over the Lord’s compassion and sniveling about a plant (Jonah 4). It’s a wake up call to check our own hearts and motivations and to ask God to help us avoid making Jonah’s mistakes.
Do you see yourself in Jonah’s story? Are there girls you struggle to love or an area of ministry where you feel the need to control the fruit? Join me in repenting and asking for God’s redirection. (And be on the lookout for whales!)