“Then the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’” (Jonah 4:4).
The story of Jonah is fascinating. The book is so short and so many lessons can be extracted from it. I recommend that you spend a moment reading all of it and laughing and being moved by its human and divine story.
«When Jonah learned of God’s purpose to spare the city that, notwithstanding its wickedness, had been led to repent in sackcloth and ashes, he should have been the first to rejoice because of God’s amazing grace; but instead he allowed his mind to dwell upon the possibility of his being regarded as a false prophet. Jealous of his reputation, he lost sight of the infinitely greater value of the souls in that wretched city» (Prophets and Kings, ch. 22, p. 271).
Imagine yourself inside a fish. Imagine that the president of your country declared national fasting. Imagine that you have used your voice proclaiming that something would happen and, in the end, it does not happen. This is a particular story with particular reactions and unexpected responses.
We can see very clearly how we behave many times in the face of repentance and confession of others. Jealous of our reputation or those structures that we obey very precisely through fear and not through love, our construct collapses when divine grace enters into action, one that disrupts armies of evil with a unique gift.
When God tries to reason with us, as He did with Jonah, we go off in a huff and sit down to roast in the sun of this world of sin as if it were better than to be in His merciful presence. It is sad to say, but sometimes our actions also border on the ridiculous.
When Jonah saw that the worm had eaten the pumpkin plant that protected him, God asked him, «Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?»
However, God asks not only for us to expose our reality and our hearts, but also to save us and redeem us in the first place. The important thing was not the plant, but where He wanted to go with the reasoning. Was He not going to feel sorry for the Ninevites?
Are there any special groups of people you like very little or even hate for some particular action? God wants their salvation and can forgive them. If we want to go to heaven, we will have to get used to the idea that those people could be there, too, and it is not right for us to get angry like that.