Introduction: Definition of the word, “jaded.”
The word jaded
The end result of having a steady flow of negative experiences, disappointment, and unfulfillment fed into a person where they get to the point where their anger circuits just sort of burn out and they accept disillusionment. From www.urbandictionary.com.
Introduction: Jonah’s jaded attitude: The prophet Jonah had many problems. First and foremost, he was told by God to preach a message of hope and redemption to the Gentiles, specifically the Ninevites. In order to do this, Jonah would have to overcome social and cultural prejudices he had. He didn’t like the Assyrian people, and Jonah thought that the Ninevites didn’t deserve to be saved. In his self-righteousness, Jonah thought that he was morally superior to the Ninevites. Jonah totally missed his calling, both as a Jew and as a prophet. As a Jew, he was supposed to be a light to the nations. Jonah was supposed to lead a lifestyle that reflected the glory of God. He was supposed to lead a lifestyle that would point people to the Father. Also as a prophet, Jonah spoke to the people on behalf of God. God would be cruel to create the Assyrians and condemn them to never be able to receive salvation. As a prophet, Jonah should’ve understood that God was always concerned for all the nations, not just Israel. The whole purpose of judgment was based on compassion. The prophet’s job was to expose the people’s sins, so they could turn back to God. God sent prophets to nations so that they would repent, so they wouldn’t need to be punished. Let us always have compassion for others, and not be jaded Jonahs. God has given us crystal clear instructions through His Word about sharing our faith with the rest of the world. As Christians we have the written Word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide us. But 3,000 years ago, God spoke to Jonah in an audible voice.
1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai —-
1) To understand God’s will for our lives, we don’t need to look any further than His Word. Everything God needs to tell us has been written already. His will is for us to go the nations, just as he told Jonah to preach to a city and a people of a different culture and race.
2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” —– verse 2
2) God’s will is for us to grow in Christ and lead others to Christ.
3) We need to be concerned about the spiritual condition of every person we meet. We even need to be concerned with people we don’t really like. Jesus still died for them, too. Our disagreements with people are not worth them going to hell over. The idea of us wanting to be right in an argument is not worth people going to hell over. Don’t be jaded Jonahs. Don’t be so worry about if people were wrong to treat us a certain way that we forget about what’s really important—that people would come to know Christ.
Transition: The places we go, the jobs we work, the families we live in, the people we’re involved with; these are the oceans that we as Christians sail on. There is nowhere for us to go; accept the situations and people God has placed in our lives. Embrace God’s waves. Jonah was jaded, and tried to sail away from God on God’s waves.
Verse 3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. —-
4) It is foolish to sail away from God on God’s waves.
God created the waves Jonah was trying to escape on. He gave people the minds and hands to build the ships Jonah was waiting on. God blessed the sailors and ship builders with healthy legs and backs to build the ships, and the ability to build Tarshish and Joppa. The money Jonah used to pay for the ship was God’s blessing. How often do we do this? We take God’s time, God’s money, God’s relationships, and God’s temple and use them for our own purposes. We got the Jonah Jones, that feeling that life is all about me, me, me. When we come to worship, we have to forget about the situation we left at home, even in the car. Leave those jaded feelings at home!!!
11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” Verse 11
12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” Verse 12
Transition: Jonah’s decision almost got the sailors killed. It’s not worth it to run from God.
5) When we run from God, it affects everything and everyone. When we run from God, bystanders suffer. When we run from God, people who need God’s presence and his salvation miss out. A pastor named Chip Ingram says that every time we sin, our actions affect at least 11 other people. When we act like jaded Jonahs, other people pay for it as well.
13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before.
6) Shame on us when non-Christians can have more respect for God and other human beings than Christians do. People can have good values without being Christians. However, you can’t be a Christian without having good values. The men on Jonah’s boat had more concern for him than Jonah had for them. Have you all met people like that? The people see our jaded attitudes. Jaded Jonahs don’t attract anybody to Christ.
We can go down the line. We must excel in all kinds of areas, like forgiveness, time management, people skills, staying in shape, etc. All these things affect how people see us, and that will affect how they see Christ. You are Jesus to the outside world. You might be the only Jesus that people ever see. You as the Christian represent Jesus in this world.
7) Most people respect Jesus Christ and his teachings, and will respect us if we show that we respect Christ through our lifestyles. Thank God the sailors didn’t act like Jaded Jonahs! They cared about the preacher who didn’t care about them.
8) Every Christian is a preacher, through the way we live. Don’t have people thinking that we only care about ourselves. That’s Jaded Jonah at work.
9) People will come to Jesus when they see his transforming power in our lives. When they see the jaded attitudes leaving our lives, the conviction of the Holy Spirit will come into their lives.
14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.
The love of God that we display, the respect for God and the love for other human beings that we display is the greatest proof we have of God’s existence, the greatest proof of the power of the resurrection, and the greatest proof that Christianity is true. Let’s follow Jonah’s call to the nations, and leave Jonah’s jaded attitude alone.
“Jonah’s anger was not marked by outbursts of rage but by a quiet withdrawal from the company of others and a growing preoccupation with the events in his own life.”
― Colin S. Smith, Jonah: Navigating a God-Centered Life