Living out the Message:

The Pouting Prophet
By Barb Barnhart, Preschool Coordinator

On Sunday, Pastor Tim described Jonah as selfish and childish. He called him the Pouting Prophet. When I heard this description, my first thought was—why would one behave in a way to have this description given to him? I quickly realized I was looking at Jonah with the same eyes that he was looking at the people of Nineveh. Now, I didn’t think that God should have destroyed Jonah, but maybe that He should have taught him a lesson.

I may not be a “pouting prophet,” but I do know that I can be a “snarky Barb.” For those of you unsure of what “snarky” means, I looked it up! It is a real term that means to be critical or mocking in an indirect or sarcastic way. This is not a flattering description. Maybe God should teach me a lesson!

Jonah’s struggle was with what he saw as justice for his enemies. The Ninevites were a mean people who deserved God’s justice.  Instead, God extended kindness to those who were undeserving. We as human beings have trouble with this. We want an eye for an eye because people deserve to pay for what they do wrong. God’s way emphasizes the kindness of the giver and not the worthiness of the recipient.

As recipients of God’s grace, Pastor Tim has challenged us to extend grace to others. I don’t want to be like the pouting prophet who sits on the outskirts of life and waits for the hammer to fall on the unjust. I long for God’s forgiveness, His love, His grace. My heart’s desire is to be the one who extends grace to others. Does this mean that “snarky Barb” will disappear completely? No. I know that I am a work-in-progress but with God’s help, she will be seen a lot less.

Pastor Tim shared a quote from John Wesley:

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

Let’s work on this together. Let us be known as people who live out their relationship with God by extending grace to others.