Jonah and Your Next Door Neighbor

You’ve most likely heard of Jonah—you know, the guy who spent three days in the belly of a big fish before being vomited out onto land. But do you remember how he found himself in such a predicament in the first place?

It all began with God’s orders to Jonah to travel to the great city of Ninevah and warn the people of His coming judgment.

Jonah wasn’t excited. In fact, he took off in the opposite direction.   

If you’d sat down to dinner with Jonah and asked him to tell you about the city of Ninevah, he’d have had nothing good to say about this wicked, pagan city.    

“So,” you ask, “Why wouldn’t Jonah have been overjoyed to proclaim God’s impending judgment to Nineveh?” 

Because he knew his compassionate God well:  

That is why I was so quick to flee … I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity (Jonah 4:2)

Where is God calling you? Maybe the people you’re called to are nothing like you. Maybe they disturb your peace by playing their music a few decibels too high and a few hours too long. Maybe they’re antagonistic toward your faith. Maybe they have a different skin color. Political party. Income level. Maybe they just let their grass grow too long. 

Would the word “compassion” or “contempt” better describe your feelings toward these people?

If you’re like me—in need of a serious dose of compassion—would you join me in asking for more of it  from the One who, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36)?    

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

Our team loves sharing quality posts to help you serve Christ to the fullest in your calling. If you have been helped or encouraged by this writer today, would you consider giving a few dollars to support the Revive Our Hearts blog?

Donate Now

About the Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller is a gifted communicator with a tenacious commitment to Scripture coupled with a compassionate, loving voice. She enjoys connecting with and welcoming people so they feel safe, valued, and deeply loved. People describe her as “wise,” “relatable,” and "fiercely gentle."

God has captured Paula’s heart, and she is passionate about sharing life-changing, gospel truths through the lens of her everyday, ordinary life as a wife, mom, neighbor, and church member. Paula is an insatiably curious, lifelong learner, so beware: she tends to ask a lot of questions of everyone near her (being careful not to overwhelm).
She served with Revive Our Hearts for fifteen years and wrote Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom. You can catch her writing on PaulaWrites.com.

Join the Discussion