Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Getting Rid of Our Hate

Jonah 1:13-16 13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to theLord and made vows to him.

Let's face it. We get hurt ALL the time. In fact, we get hurt so deeply often by people who are supposed to love us that such deep hate builds up inside of us. If we hold on to these feeling of hate (and all that ugliness), it soon consumes us and becomes a defect of character. 
Where this is especially counterproductive is when is hinders our sobriety. God told Jonah to go to the people of Nineveh and rather than do as he was instructed, he tried to hide from God all because he hated the people because of their cruelty towards the Israelites. And Jonah's hatred caused him to be separated from God for a period of time.
The thing we can learn from this is that Jonah's relationship with God was restored when he finally submitted and obeyed. And that's all God wants from us. We need to submit to his ways and let go of those who hurt us. In Jonah's case, his submission helped rescue the very people he hated.  God does work in mysterious ways indeed.  Perhaps his plan is to save the very person you have negative feelings toward. We just don't know.
Letting go isn't easy and we can't do it alone but we can ask God to soften our hearts and minds towards our adversaries and see what happens next.