Word for Today – Jonah 1:2

You Be the Judge

God’s Word tell us not to be judgmental. Boy, do we have a field day with that one. It seems that Christians, and I repeat Christians, are some of the worst offenders when it comes to judging.

I see two approaches to the concept of what we think of others and their actions; I think believers need to heed both.

Judgmental Attitude

I’ve been guilty of this. I rarely act on it, but in the dark recesses of my mind I can judge with the best of those who pound gavels in their courtrooms. It’s human nature. But, as I mature as a Christian, instead of allowing my mind to hide under the dark veil of judgment where others would never guess it lurks, I try to let the light of Truth and love illuminate my thoughts. It is a skill that takes time to develop, but it is doable.

Aren’t we blessed that Jesus, even though he had the authority to judge, let the light of Truth and love shine on the world when he was crucified?

An Attitude of Accountability

So, we are not to judge, but God does indicate that there is nothing wrong with holding people accountable. In the Old Testament, God gave Jonah this command:

“Go at once to Ninevah, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come against me” (Jonah 1:2 NRSV).

People often construe the premise taught in this passage as a judgmental attitude, but God is telling Jonah to “cry out” to the wicked Ninevah. Most of us know that, in the end, the entire city was saved from God’s wrath. That is not judgment – that is accountability. Because Jonah shined the light on the darkness of Ninevah, the entire city repented, changed their ways, and was ultimately saved from God’s judgment.


What can we conclude from this episode from the annals of history? Holding people accountable saves them from God’s judgment. Two things to remember:

  1. God is the judge; we are not.
  2. We don’t need to bounce around like Nosey Nelly Christians looking to point fingers and for victims to hold accountable. God will provide us an opportunity if he needs our assistance. Just like he gave Jonah a  mission, God will provide the opportunity and/or prompting if we are needed. (However, if you are a pastor or similar, you must always be shining the light of Truth.)

Jonah starts off with a bang and the entire book explodes with truth and light. I encourage you to immerse yourself in this wonderful book that holds so many timeless messages like today’s word.


Word for Today: Study and learn what God teaches about judgment and accountability, then with Truth as your foundation, you be the judge of how to apply it.

Consider….. (would love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment if you’d like)

1. What dangers do you see in judgment?

2. What dangers do you see in a lack of accountability?


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This entry was posted on Sunday, September 19th, 2010 at 3:05 pm and is filed under jonah, Word for the Day. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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