Our Own Nineveh

JP: Good read by Joy Wagner. Ms. Wagner taught classes and was the ladies’ dorm supervisor at Northland Baptist Bible College (Dunbar, WI) for 10 years. She works as a counselor at Rocky Mountain Biblical Counseling Center.

Our Own Nineveh


The first step in becoming a minister of grace to a group of people is to see them with a heart of compassion. The Gospels repeatedly tell us that Jesus looked on a group of people and had great compassion on them (Matt. 9:36). Seeing with compassion is a natural response when a visiting missionary shows the pictures of native children whose empty eyes tell so much of their sad story. When we hear about a person who has just gone through a personal tragedy, we instantly surround him with words and acts of compassion.

These are certainly right reactions. What happens to that compassion, though, when we are confronted with a group of people who irritate us or whose particular sin patterns detest us? The people of Ninevah were known for their extreme wickedness. Jonah wanted God to pour out His wrath instead of His grace on them (Jonah 4:2). Compassion does not mean that we overlook or excuse sin, but it does change our motivation and therefore our interaction with people.

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