Your Priorities—Do You Recognize the Warning Signs?

I’ll never forget the day the air conditioner went out in my car. Although summer wouldn’t officially begin for another two weeks, for me, it officially began that day.

Sunset over Joppa, where Jonah boarded a ship to flee from God.

(Photo: Sunset over Joppa, where Jonah boarded a ship to flee from God.)

The blistering Texas highway winds reminded me of Jonah, the pouting prophet who sulked in the sun with a scorching wind on his head.

There’s nothing like losing your creature comforts to put a little perspective on our priorities.

Jonah Panics, then Prays, then Preaches, then Pouts

Jonah was no more excited to go tell an enemy about God than you or I would be, for the Assyrians ruthlessly butchered Jonah’s people.

We remember his story which began at Joppa.

  • Jonah panicked—but God rescued him with the fish.
  • Jonah prayed—and again, God commanded him to preach.
  • Jonah preached—and what he feared would happen did. Nineveh repented God forgave them.
  • Jonah pouted—and God taught him a lesson by taking away his shade and air-conditioning.

Finally, the Lord applied the lesson to Jonah:

You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work, and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. And should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city? —Jonah 4:10-11

Jonah’s creature comforts became a higher priority than people repenting and believing in God. Shade meant more than a whole city turning to the Lord!

We shake our heads at pitiful Jonah—until we realize he recorded his blunder for us (Romans 15:4).

This Isn’t about Jonah, You Know

I hate to admit it, but I often find myself more concerned with my creature comforts than with the gospel. Talk about misplaced priorities!

Here are a few warning signs that our creature comforts have replaced our priorities:

I thought about Jonah a lot that hot summer. I also thought about my priorities.

God’s solution for Jonah, who valued his creature comforts more than biblical priorities, was to turn off the air conditioning.

Tell me what you think: What creature comforts tend to get in the way of your priorities? To leave a comment, just click here.

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