Boats to Tarshish

If you dwell on other people’s faults
For long enough
It gets easier
To handle them with an iron claw,
To wish for their punishment
More than their redemption,
To hold them to a stricter standard
Than you could ever bear,
To magnify their failures
’Til they blot out the sun.
Boats to Tarshish
Will always be available:
An opportunity for offence to grow legs
And for hateful thoughts
To become toxic behavior.
Long before we deprive our neighbors of love
By our deeds,
We would have counted them as unworthy of it
In our hearts.

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.  He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?

Jonah 4:1-4

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