Is it right for you to be angry?

“The the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Jonah 4:4

God saw Ninveveh’s repentance and saved them.  Jonah said he went to Tarshish because he was helping God out — because he knew God couldn’t help but be merciful to this evil people.  Jonah was trying to manipulate and control God then became angry when he couldn’t. He was angry that God loved and saved a people that he felt were undeserving.

My church is filled with millenials — those under 30 years of age.  They occupy just about every area of service and ministry.  I am a baby boomer.  Very few older people go to my church, maybe about 10 percent.

As an older believer it is easy to look in judgement on those younger.  But God loves everyone who gives themself to Him and even those who don’t.  He loves them in their youth, immaturity, lapses and irresponsibility.

God loves me too — while I am judgmental of others, critical and unloving of those I deem irresponsible and non-inclusive.

God sees our whole life and not just a snapshot of our current behaviors – thankfully.

I need a change of heart and perspective about this people.  I need to love them as God does.  I need to let go of my resentment and judgments because it is keeping me independent of God and judgmental of His mercy and grace towards others.

Jesus, I ask you to forgive me of this behavior.  It is awful and unloving.  I pray that I would be merciful and slow to anger as you are.  I pray that I would be gracious and loving as you are.  I pray that I would see all the goodness that you do.

I have been looking at the young people who dominate in my church as the enemy but they are not.  You love them, Lord, as your children.

Yesterday I saw a young man lying on the ground surrounded by police and paramedics.  He was young and could have been anyone at my church.  He looked so vulnerable and lost lying there.  I began to say “Jesus” and pray over him.  My compassion welled up, I think, from God’s heart.

I know my heart is healing and being changed as God promised in Ezekiel 36:25-26, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

In Hebrews 8:10-12, Paul talked about the new covenant God made with us —

This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
   after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
   and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
   and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
   or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
   from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness
   and will remember their sins no more.”

Jesus, I thank you for your lovingkindness towards me and all men.  Thank you for the new covenant I have with you.  Thank you for remembering my sins no more.  Help me to be like you towards others.

I know your heart must ache when you see one of your children hurting.  Yet you must rely on my love and compassion to be your hands and feet.

How it must hurt when you see your children’s hearts cold, unloving and unresponsive about the needs of others.  Help me to not be this person.

Help me to love others with you at the center of my heart, without motive, but with your true, unconditional love.


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