John Maxwell Profiles in Leadership: Jonah – Lessons from a Pouting Prophet

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John Maxwell This is the seventh lesson in bestselling author and speaker John Maxwell’s Leadership by the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, tell them to sign up to receive John’s free email devotional here.


By John C. Maxwell

Jonah 4

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Jonah’s ministry in Nineveh was a great success. The people repented, so God relented. But Jonah didn’t worship and celebrate; he whined and complained. Even so, this pouting prophet can teach us valuable lessons about leadership.

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Your decisions as a leader affect many people. Every decision Jonah made had an impact on others. As a leader, never forget that your actions or inactions—your obedience or disobedience to God—can either benefit or hinder those you lead.

Continually examine your heart. In the end, Jonah obeyed God and fulfilled his will. But Jonah’s heart wasn’t right and God called him on it. Good leaders do the right things for the right reasons with the right heart. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself whether you’ve sought God’s will in any given situation. You need to consider whether God is pleased with your internal motivation. You need to try to see things from his his perspective.

Recognize God doesn’t need to use you. God could have sent an angel to the people of Nineveh, but instead he chose a fallible human leader. We should marvel at God’s decision to work through us as leaders. Every day express gratitude for the influence God has entrusted to you and seek to use it wisely.

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The above is adapted from The Maxwell Leadership Bible / Third Edition by John C. Maxwell (@JohnCMaxwell). Copyright © 2002, 2007, 2018 by Maxwell Motivation, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.


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