Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”

“Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”

Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

(Jonah 4:9-11)


First of all, that Jonah is a bit melodramatic, isn’t he?! Good grief.

Second of all, as I’ve been reading about apologies and saying sorry and when it’s right and when it’s wrong, I came across this passage. The conversation between Jonah and God happened after Jonah threw a hissy fit over God’s mercy on the people of Ninevah.

I’ll admit that I have been Jonah before. Maybe more than once. But as I read this story I was reminded of how often we apologize for – and generally get worked up – the wrong things while dismissing or ignoring the things that God cares about (and would have us care about). When we are too focused on ourselves or not close enough to the heart of God, we misplace our apologies and miss out on opportunities to serve God and love others.

To be honest, this part of apologies good and bad had not occurred to me. If I hadn’t committed to the 31 Days writing challenge, I’d sit on this and reflect on it and do a little more thinking and a little more research. But here we are, with a half-formed insight and an interesting passage of Scripture – and posting anyway. Food for thought to wrap up the weekend!

Have you ever thought about the difference between what we care about and what God cares about – and how it’s related to apology?

31 Days Not Sorry footer

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge. To read all the posts in this series, click here. And to learn more about this challenge or to find more series to read, visit Write31Days.com. Apple photos courtesy of my brother, James.

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