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I’m Always Right, Right?

I’m Always Right, Right?

God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” Jonah 4:9

While enslaved to our pathologic appetites, addicts are not known for thinking clearly. Reason is often overruled by preference and though there are mountains of evidence against us, still, we convince ourselves that we are making good choices.

My appetite for the pill led me to addiction, which led to self-hatred and depression. In my depression, instead of sobriety, I simply sought another pill for my depression. When forced to confront my addiction, I thought it might be a good idea to get a legal prescription for a replacement opiate, so I could keep using legitimately.

A pill was the answer for all my pill problems. I was full of terrible ideas, but still, I kept insisting that I knew best. In recovery now, though I’m still not very good at it, I’ve had to learn that when it comes to my own desires and appetites, my judgement is severely clouded.

Jonah, in the final lesson of his book, illustrated the absurdity of self-centered thinking. After Nineveh’s repentance, God relented from his plan to destroy it, which angered Jonah. As he sat outside the city pouting, God caused a plant to grow over Jonah to provide shade. Jonah loved the plant, but then God took the plant away, further angering Jonah.

God used this loss to show Jonah the error of his ways. Jonah loved the plant – because it served his purpose – and was angered by its loss, while refusing to care about the 120,000 people of Nineveh. He mourned the death of a simple plant, while cheering for the destruction of an entire city. Through the plant, God showed Jonah how ridiculous his self-centered thinking was.

God allows this. He allows us to be ridiculous and self-centered, but he also allows us to find the miserable consequences of our diseased thinking. We follow ourselves to our own demise. If we would abandon our self-inflicted pain, we must surrender our right to follow ourselves. As always, if we truly desire life, peace, and joy, we must daily turn from our path to follow God’s.

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