“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Read the entire passage: Ephesians 4.32-5.2.
Having experienced God’s mercy and forgiveness, Jonah was unable to express it to others. “But to Jonah this (the repentance of Ninevah and God’s decision to relent) seemed very wrong, and he became angry” (Jonah 4.1). He was so angry he wanted to die. He was incapable of demonstrating to those in Ninevah what he had experienced and received. He could receive but he couldn’t give.
The “receiving” and “giving” of God’s mercy and forgiveness are inseparable. In the same way we have received God’s forgiveness through the work of Christ, we are to extend it to others. It’s especially true for those we think don’t deserve it just like Jonah didn’t think the Ninevites deserved it. Watch the video clip below as Senior Pastor Jeff Manion explains the difference between “The Jonah Syndrome” and “The Jesus Way”.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Perhaps today God is bringing to mind someone who’s hurt you—maybe even in a significant way. While the thought of forgiving this person might be too much for you at this moment, a good “first step” will be to memorize Ephesians 4.32. Use the truth of this verse to gain a greater understanding of God’s forgiveness of you—an understanding that will lead you to become a giver of God’s mercy as well as a receiver.