Jonah 3:10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
We live in a hyper critical world where we tend to find the fault in everyone and tend to gloss over our own faults with excuses. Because people tend to find fault in everyone and everything they do not enjoy their lives and they also make others around them miserable. What if our lives would not be as miserable because we really wanted the best for others? What if there was a way to see people the way God sees them instead of our limited view of them?
Mom Goggles: Seeing the good in others even when they don’t display it.
Moms tend to be proud of their children regardless of what they accomplish or at least how good it actually turned out to be. Many refrigerators carry the pictures of children that to anyone else but a mom would be thrown out immediately. If we are going to grow in our knowledge of God then we have to understand that God sees in people and especially people who seem to not have a clue how their actions are hurting others.
If we saw people the way God saw people it would change our lives and how we lived. So what would be the outcome of our new goggles?
Jonah 4:1-2 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly,[a] and he was angry. 2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.
Seeing The World The Way God Sees it:
1) Will Help you enjoy the moment
“But it displeased Jonah… and he was angry”
God just did a giant miracle in the lives of the people of Nineveh and all because of Jonah’s five word sermon. Can you imagine how ecstatic he should have been that God used him in such a powerful way? This should have been a prophet’s dream and if the book would have ended in chapter 3 we would have thought that Jonah was one of the greatest prophets ever. Jonah was mad because he believed that there was an imbalance in God’s character between God’s justice and wrath verse God’s Grace and Mercy. Siblings will do this and they will talk about how much more difficult their parents were with them then with another sibling.
Have you ever not enjoyed a moment in life because it was not the way you thought things would go?
Jonah is mad at God because God did not do what he wanted God to do. Jonah wanted God to pour out His wrath on Nineveh but instead He gave them mercy. Many Christians walk around so full of bitterness and miss out on what God is doing because their selfishness and because things are not going the way they wanted them to go.
Can we rejoice that God is working in the lives of others or happy that God is blessing them?
Can we rejoice that another person got the promotion?
Can we rejoice that another kid got the starting spot on the team?
Our days get ruined because we do not rejoice with others and what God is doing in their lives. Our days get ruined because we do not allow people to make mistakes even though we make mistakes ourselves.
“Sports do not build character, they reveal it” David Prince author of In the Arena: The Promise of Sports for Christian Discipleship
Sports reveal the character of the player and the spectators but so does the circumstances of life. Jonah’s character was not changed in the belly of the fish and God revealed that to him by allowing his enemies to be spared. Jonah should have rejoiced that they received mercy just like he did but instead he became mad at God for blessing his enemies.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
O Lord is this not what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made hast to flee to Tarshish;
Jonah starts in his prayer of complaining toward God and you can tell it is all about him because he continues to use the words “I” and “Me”. Jonah did not want his enemy to be blessed by God what about you? Are you not enjoying life because God seems to be blessing others more than you?
Putting on your mom goggles will help you enjoy the moment instead of what you wish would happen for you. We need to learn to rejoice in the blessings that others receive from God.
2) Allows you to have Grace and Mercy
Jonah s prayer of complaint back to God is Jonah expressing the very character that he loved seeing God use in his own life but not in the lives of his enemies. Jonah knew how God would be because Jonah knew what God had revealed about Himself in the scriptures.
Exodus 34:6-7 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands,[a] forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
Jonah knows what the scriptures say but there is a difference between the knowledge of scripture and the application to one’s heart. Jonah had the head knowledge of God but he did not want God to display those character traits toward his enemies. Jonah never had a heart for the people of Nineveh like God did and therefore his theology was only knowledge because his hatred blocked it from becoming a lifestyle.
“The Hebrew concept of Mercy is one who cares for people tenderly and compassionately, as a mother would care for a child.” (Jonah, Christ-Centered Exposition pg. 53)
Maternal instincts are how it is written in the Hebrew language on how God cared for the people of Nineveh. A baby has nothing to offer a mother but a mother still cares and loves it because she chooses to.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God loves us not because we have anything to offer Him but because He has chosen to love us despite how we act.
3) Make you be slow to Anger
Jonah was upset that God was not upset. Jonah was upset that God did not act the way he thought He should act. Slow to Anger means if there is no change then the anger is coming so it is not ignoring what is taking place but it does allow the person to have room to change before you write them off.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Those we love we tend to overlook the mistakes they make but those we hate we magnify their mistakes and make them a bigger deal than they really are. If we hate people we say “Can you believe so and so, I cannot believe they did___________” If we love them then we say “That is just how they are” This is where the phrase comes from “Love is blind” because when we are in love we tend to overlook their faults.
Colossians 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
You want to know why families break apart. They have a love problem.
You want to know why churches split. They have a love problem.
You want to know why you hate a person. You have a love problem.
Mom Goggles see the best in the person and not the worst and that is the view we must take in others since God can do miracles in any life. Mom goggles do not mean you do not see the truth but you see that the person is a work in progress that God is still working on.
Have you ever thought that a person is acting a certain way for a reason? Have you ever thought that coworker just had a shouting match with their spouse or child before they came to work? Have you ever thought that someone got a bad health report and their entire world has been turned upside down?
Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
We live in a society that is easily offended but we serve a God who is not and is patient because He wants to give everyone an opportunity to turn to Him. (2 Peter 3:9) We need to be slow to anger with people and show them by example how God treats us when we fall. Let us not be so quick to destroy someone when thy mess up (Relenting from Disaster) because that is how God is toward us.
4) Steadfast Love
Steadfast love is God’s covenant commitment to His people
Jonah is upset because the love that God had for the children of Israel He is showing toward the people of Nineveh. We live in a society that is not committed to anyone or anything but themselves and a few people that they choose to care for. Marriages and churches have suffered because people are not committed to other people and they do not show a steadfast love for other people when offenses happen or feelings get hurt. Mom Goggles help us be committed to the person for the long haul not just the immediate. Love is discerning where people are and having patience with them to get where they need to be. When God changes a life He changes it to something as if the old life never existed.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
It is more than God cleaning us up or restoring us like restoring an old car, He makes us new. Do you believe God can change someone to the point that they are not recognizable? If the old is gone for God who is much more offended by sin than we are then who are we to not let go of someone’s past when they have changed. God changes a person totally and it is up to us to love them regardless of how they act as we pray for them to become what God wants them to become.
Luke 6:36 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
This is the bottom line: How you want to be treated by others then do that for them. Do you want others to be genuinely happy for you when God blesses you? Then be happy when God blesses them. Do you want people to show you grace and Mercy? Then show grace and mercy to them. Do you want people to be slow to anger with you? Then do not blow up every time they make a mistake.
Ephesians 2:11-13 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
We were all once separated from God and our first concern should not be if we like the people or even how they act but do they have a relationship with the Creator of this world.