Prejudiced! – Part 2
“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said, ‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.’” (Jonah 2:1-2 NIV)
Was God’s hand on the prophet Jonah? Yes. Was he also a bigot? Yes, to the core. He couldn’t let go of his animosity for the Assyrians, and that caused him to try to flee from God rather than go to the Assyrians’ capital city of Nineveh to preach to them a message that could lead them to repentance. When he ended up in the belly of the fish because of his disobedience, Jonah was the guy who cried out to God for help while also thinking, “But I still don’t want God to bless those other people!”
Is that possibly you or me today, saying, “God, bless my family and help me when I’m in trouble, but don’t bless the people who oppose me or who differ from me—who look different, eat different, talk differently, have different political views from me”?
I am concerned that Christianity is now losing its spiritual nature and becoming just a form of culture: black Christianity, white Christianity, Latino…, American…, right-wing…, whatever-kind-of-Christianity, except the biblical kind. Is that why Jesus died on a cross? Is that why he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)? Is that the life he wants us to have?
This is for every Christian today: Just let it go. If you have rancor inside of you and are prejudiced against people, don’t justify it, by saying, “But you don’t know what that person or what that group of people did to me.” That’s what Jonah was thinking, wasn’t it? Listen, Jesus knows everything about you and me—every wrong thing we’ve ever done or thought—yet he still loves us. In fact, the Bible says that it was while we were yet sinners, that he died for us!
To be continued…
Read Jonah 2:1–3:5.