Jonah was furious. He lost his temper. He yelled at God, "God! I knew it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! That's why I ran off to Tarshish! I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness! Jonah 4:1-2 (MSG)
As I read the chapter this morning, I am mindful of a person who has been nothing short of awful towards me. This person has been insulting, derisive, slanderous and malicious. What's worse, I've tried very hard to be patient, professional and kind in return. My attempts have been constantly rebuffed.
My heart is torn. While I try very hard to give up my sense of righteous anger and vengence, the truth is that I would love to see this person fall flat on their face and get what's coming to them. I want this person to pay for the mean things they've said and done.
Nevertheless, when I pray for this person (and I do), I pray for God's blessing on them. Don't get me wrong, I start by giving God an earful about how sick and tired I am of being the object of this person's scorn. Then, I pray that God would bless the one who curses me. I'll admit, some days it's hard getting the words off my lips. But, I don't want to find myself in Jonah's sandals, refusing to accept anything short of my own sense of human justice. I'm afraid that giving in to my own unbridled anger will only hurt my own soul.