There are so many life lessons we can learn from the Biblical Jonah. As you recall, Jonah was commanded by God to go and preach to Nineveh but he ran away rather than face his responsibilities.
Have you ever thought, well how foolish! I wouldn’t ever run away from God when He commands me to do something! He’s everywhere!
But we do actually act like Jonah at times! We are commanded by God to go on a journey. It is a life journey.
And as a Father, when His children rebel, God will get our attention in any way He can. Even by allowing storms (illness) to invade our body naturally when we consume too many unhealthy, chemically-laden foods. Remember that was our choice, not His.
We live under Grace but are responsible for everything we do. Moderation is fine, but who forced us daily consume an entire bag of chips, overeat at the buffet or super-size that fast-food meal?
Like Jonah, God asks us to follow specific orders. One of those is to keep our bodies holy and take care of this earthly temple He gave us.
1 Peter 1:16 states, because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
But we run away from this responsiblity, don’t we? Sometimes it seems like a monumental task trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Momentary pleasure overrides common sense.
Think of it this way: If we entered the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, we wouldn’t throw trash on that sacred floor, would we? No, but it’s exactly what we’re doing when we continually throw unhealthy food into our bodily temple.
God does not ignore disobedience, as Jonah discovered, no matter how much we feel we “got away with it.”
Look at Jonah again. When God asked him to go to Nineveh, he foolishly ran from God, trying to sail away from his obligations. But the Lord sent a storm which affected not only Jonah, but the entire crew of the ship. That got his attention.
Truth #2: there are no victimless crimes! What we do affects others. You might think, leave me alone! It’s my body! I’ll do what I please!
Okay, Grace again. But when we eat unhealthily, we will eventually become ill. Heart disease, diabetes, digestive problems, strokes, cancer all trace back to what we eat.
When we suffer, those around us suffer too! Just ask those who sit by our bedside while we’re in pain!
As parents, God asks us to exemplify higher standards to our families and yet we continue to provide an abundance of fast food, causing our family members to become ill too. Don’t you think God notices?
To correct our resistant, foolish direction, He might allow the consequences of that behavior to catch up with us. (As Jonah found out.) In our case, we might develop a simple belly ache or something worse like diabetes.
Now the question is, since He now has our attention, do we turn from our naiveté and start living and eating right, or do we shake our fist at God, defiantly demanding, Why did You allow this to happen; growing even more defiant, turning away and running away from God?
When faced with seemingly insurmountable goals, we get scared! It’s not easy but stop running! Immediately take baby steps to begin rectifying the situation. Start by consuming whole, nutritious foods. Stop trashing our earthly temple!
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)