Thursday, July 10, 2008

Diagnosis: Jonah Personality Disorder

No, I have not been called to prophecy in any wicked country. At the very most I am obligated to speak the truth in love as I have opportunity. So, most of the time, I just listen to the concerns of others and share what I have learned through my own life while expressing my convictions. Then when I hear a report about how, despite bad choices and poor judgement, people are spared disaster and suffering I say, "Oh, how wonderful for you!" just like I should. Sounds innocuous on the surface, right?

Well, I've had to confront a pretty ugly reality that lurks below my gentle nodding, my soft voice, and my soothing countenance: my inner Jonah is stomping his feet, muttering under his breath, and frowning with a clenched jaw.

You see, all of my life I believed that as long as I tried to do the right thing nothing really bad would ever happen to me. Goodness gets rewarded and foolishness gets punished. Now, I know that regardless of my own shortcomings I have never gotten what I truly deserved. For this I should be so grateful and appreciative that it wouldn't matter to me if no one else got what they deserved either. Oh, that I could be so benevolent...

Instead, I sit and stew over wrongdoing and look for any sign that God is taking this as seriously as I am.

The truth? God takes this far more seriously than I ever could. Oh, I know what I have read about His character so I've got a pretty clear understanding of His mind about sin. And that includes MY sin.

So, if anyone I know also has Jonah Personality Disorder, I'm relived beyond measure that they keep it to themselves enough to never let on. Getting tossed out of a boat scares me and sitting in the belly of a whale isn't my idea of a weekend retreat. Before any of that happens, I'm starting a treatment program in compassion and management classes in mercy. I'll let you know how it turns out.



Trinka said...

If you find a good price on those classes, let me know. I think most of us could use them.

Bill & Glory said...

Sure thing. I'm saving my own materials, though, for future reference!