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Resistance #1: Control Freak
Series: The Divine Pursuit - A Study of Jonah
Week 5: Resistance - Day 1
“GOD’S FINAL VICTORY, MY SON, LIES IN MAN’S INABILITY TO REJECT HIM...YOU THINK YOU’RE CRYING OUT YOUR HATRED AND REBELLION, BUT ALL YOU’RE DOING IS TELLING HIM HOW MUCH YOU NEED HIS SUPPORT AND FORGIVENESS.” —ELIE WIESEL, THE GATES OF THE FOREST
Marriage therapy is better than the best soap opera. OK, I’ve said it. Not to make light of what marriage counseling can do—because it really is important—but woo WEE I have seen some conversations that make me shake my head at our poor, pitiful human nature.
I once talked with a young couple who weren’t getting along very well. The woman, let’s call her Miss Wifey, felt overburdened by responsibilities with the children and home, and was angry that she didn’t get any time to herself. When Mr. Hubs came to counseling, he did what I expected: not much. Mr. Hubs was clearly a man who had learned to tune out. So he was there, in the office, nodding along, but he wasn’t really there. Wifey would rail on and on about this or that, and Hubs would just sit.
When I finally wriggled my way into the conversation, I asked Mr. Hubs about his lack of participation. “Well,” he said, in a slow southern drawl, “when I pick up the baby, she say’s I’m holding him wrong. When I change his diaper, she re-fastens the straps,” gaining steam, Hubs spoke a little quicker, “T-shirts have to be folded a certain way, dishwashers only can get loaded one way, so....” He paused for dramatic effect, “I gave up a long time ago.”
Well, now, I thought, now we are getting somewhere.
There is something about feeling controlled that brings out the worst in us humans. When Hubs began to recognize that Wifey had to have everything a certain way, he stopped. Miss Wifey had to have life her way, and no exceptions. Kids, home, hubbie—they all needed to straighten up and do it her way. Sisters, this illustration may seem manufactured but it is all too real. How much we desire control! And so did Jonah. Let’s dig into chapter four and see what God has for us this week.
1. Read Chapter Four slowly, recording any words or phrases that stick out to you:
2. When you read 4:2-3 in your head, what is the tone of voice that you hear Jonah speaking in?
3. Where is Jonah in v. 1-4?
4. Where is Jonah in v. 5-10?
Hmm....do you sense a pattern of control going on here? Sounds like Jonah had a plan, and look what happens when that plan isn’t going his way. Anger. Frustration. Tension. Maybe a teeny bit of arrogance with just a dash of stubbornness.
Jonah apparently had a picture of how he thought things would go, and when they didn&rsq ...
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