Jonah’s attitude was pitiful. When God commanded him to preach to Nineveh in Jonah 1:2, Jonah got on a boat to go as far from Nineveh as possible. Later, in Jonah 4:1-3, he was so upset at God’s mercy after the Ninevites’ repentance that he wanted to die. As the book of Jonah closes, God presents a compelling case against Jonah’s lack of compassion. Some people think they must be perfect before being useful to God. Jonah proves the opposite.
God can use you no matter how many character flaws you are trying to correct as long as you obey Him. Throughout the text of Jonah, Jonah never seems to see his character flaws, yet when he obeyed God and spoke to the Ninevites, they repented, and God spared them. God used a deeply flawed person to accomplish His will. If He could use Jonah, He can use you.
Most likely, you, like Jonah, do not recognize all your flaws. God does not need you to see all your weaknesses before you can be useful in His service. As long as you live in a constant state of self-evaluation and improvement through the Word of God, you will be a valuable tool in His hands. Remember what Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14: “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
If you wait to serve God until you are flawless, you will never begin. Instead, let God shape you as you serve Him in obedience to His Word, and you will be pressing on in Christ, becoming more effective in God’s hands each day. Remember, if God could use Jonah, He can use you!