I was reading Jonah recently. If you haven’t heard the Bible story it’s only 4 chapters, I would encourage you to read it. But I will summarize it a little. God tells Jonah to go to Ninevah and preach because the people there are very wicked. Jonah runs away because he’s scared. He is going on a ship the other way when there is a storm. They realize the storm is because Jonah is running from God so they throw him overboard. He lives inside a big fish for 3 days. He then goes to Ninevah and tells them to repent from their evil ways. They repent and God forgives them and spares their lives. Jonah is angry that God forgives them and decides to spare their lives.
“But Jonah ran away from Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.” Jonah 1:3
I feel like we can sometimes be like Jonah. He disobeyed God and God forgave him but he was upset when God forgave the people of Ninevah. How many times in our lives have we been like, God why aren’t you punishing this person for their sin? when we are currently struggling with sin ourselves. We should be trying to be like Christ but He was loving to everyone. Everyone has certain sins they struggle with. Yes, we should have people who keep us accountable but they should be people we are close to. If a new person comes to your church and you point out a sin you see them struggling with how likely would they be to come back? I’m not saying we should turn a blind eye but we should love people first. I am preaching to myself, too. I feel like I have often been too judgmental and self-righteous. I still have to work on not being judgmental but I think I am getting much better at showing people God’s love. I think it can be easy to point out flaws in others but sometimes hard to notice our own flaws. Of course there are some people who are too good at noticing their own flaws but that’s a post for another day. I think it is very important to show love to everyone you meet even if you may not agree with choices they are making. Jesus showed love to everyone and we should, too.
“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:4