What makes you get angry? Has getting angry ever helped you?
Have you ever heard the story of Jonah and the whale? Jonah was a prophet of God that was told by God to go to the city of Nineveh. Nineveh was very wicked, and had been very mean to Jonah’s people. God loved the people of Nineveh, and he wanted them to repent. But Jonah hated Nineveh and ran the other way. Far away from God.
But you can’t really run away from God can you?
Do you remember what happened to Jonah? He was thrown off the ship during a storm and ended up being swallowed by a giant fish. Gross! After three long days, the fish spit Jonah out and he finally went to Nineveh. He preached to the people, and the wicked Ninevites repented and turned to God for his love and forgiveness. Yay!
But this made Jonah very angry. Listen to how the book of Jonah describes his anger:
Jonah 4:1-4. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
Why was Jonah angry?
Jonah was angry at God for loving someone that Jonah hated. He was mad at God for being “gracious and merciful.”
So God decided to teach Jonah another lesson. But this time instead of a great big fish, God would use a little plant.
God allowed a plant to quickly grow up around Jonah but then God suddenly let the plant die. God asked Jonah if he was angry that the plant died. Jonah said YES! I AM ANGRY!
And then God taught Jonah a very important lesson. He said “Jonah, if you are so angry about a plant dying, shouldn’t I be angry about the people of Nineveh dying without knowing that I love them and forgive them?”
You see God doesn’t want anyone to die without knowing about his love and his grace. God doesn’t want anyone to die without knowing about Jesus and his salvation through the cross. The question is will we love people like God does and tell them about Jesus? Will we be angry at sin like God is? Or will we be angry at God for loving everyone, even the people we don’t like?
Because of Jesus God will never be angry at us, just our sin.
With Jesus we can be angry about sin, and not angry at God.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Talk to your children about what makes them angry. Ask: “How can Jesus help us love people instead of being angry at them?”
Help me to not be angry at God or others, and only angry at sin.
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