For a long time I was thinking about writing a blogpost about the feelings of being unqualified, ill-equipped or unworthy. So this week’s Family Study actually helped a great deal to sort out the thoughts.
We were listening to the dramatic Bible Reading of Jonah and worked the Teenager Study Activity afterwards. When thinking about Jonah we tend to think about a coward, about someone, who refused to accept a direct assignment from Jehovah and really thought fleeing would be an option. But it is easy to judge him being in our position; We have not been sent to “the city of bloodshed” (Nahum 3:1). Jehovah had already chosen Jonah as his prophet, when he received his assignment to go to Nineveh and he would not have given him such a weighty responsibility if he had been unfaithful or unrighteous. So what did he do?
Jehovah said: “Go to Nineveh!” and Jonah got up and ran the opposite way. He clearly was scared and lacked courage. But I think there was a lot more going on in his mind.
Why me? I’m clearly not the best person to do this. Look, how scared I am. Who am I, a man lacking courage and faith, struggling every day with humility and my anger issues, to tell others they are about to be destroyed because of their wickedness? Shouldn’t I put my own house in order first? No. I’m not even worthy to be Jehovah’s prophet. Who could be able to achieve anything with me?
Have you heard something like this before? I have, in my own mind. Sometimes we may receive assignments, small and big, that challenge us and leave us wondering, if we are able to do this. We might even wonder, if we are the right person for this job. Are we ready to do this? Are we qualified enough?
Jonah wasn’t sure. The ship he was on was about to sink, and he knew it was his fault. He felt unworthy and convinced the mariners to hurl him into the sea. What did Jehovah do? He sent a big fish to swallow Jonah and bring him back to the shore to Nineveh. But it was not a mere punishment, he wanted Jonah to understand something.
First, he said: “You are my prophet, if I say you go to Nineveh, you will go to Nineveh!” But second he said: “Listen Jonah, I chose you for a reason. If I believe you can do it, why should you doubt it. You might not be perfect, but I knew that before. And I am always there to help you.”
Whatever our hearts may condemn us in, we can be sure, because God is greater then our hearts and knows all things (1 John 3:20).
Whenever you aren’t sure about an assignment, consider this:
“Do you think Jehovah can do it without you?”
“And do you think Jehovah can do it with you?”