Questions to Ask about Service

Pondering Jonah: Questions to Ask About Service


by Niccole Perrine


As I was doing devotions recently I found myself thinking about Biblical examples of serving. Many Christians wonder whether it is possible to gain direction from God’s Word when it comes to today’s culture. Shockingly, many believe the Bible is outdated and insignificant, inscrutable and undeserving of our attention. 
While it’s tempting to go by gut-feelings and intuition when it comes to service, it’s vital to pay attention to what God says in His written Word. We are so blessed to live in a country where we can still open our Bibles and seek out God’s Will.


Here is what I’ve gleaned about serving others from the memorable example found in the Book of Jonah:


Jonah, a prophet called by God to serve Israel, was given the task of serving somewhere new.
(Is God calling me to serve somewhere new? Where could that be?)


Ninevah was not where Jonah wanted to serve.
(How often do I worry over location? Have I earnestly looked at the reasons behind my preferences?) 


Ninevah was not filled with people who Jonah felt were deserving of God’s grace. They were dirty. They were sinful. They lived on the wrong side of the tracks.
(Am I being discerning in my decisions to serve, or am I wrongly discriminating against others? There needs to be good judgment here- but am I looking for an excuse to say no?)


Rather than obey God’s calling to serve somewhere new and uncomfortable, Jonah ran away.
(How often do I place a premium on comfort and neglect obedience? If the Holy Spirit is tugging my heart to serve but I refuse based on fear, then who am I truly serving?)


Jonah went on a cruise. In the wrong direction. God made His displeasure known through a storm and a fantastic fish with indigestion.

(Is the objective of my service pleasing to God? Are the organizations I am serving alongside doing anything that might be a contradiction to God’s written Will?)


Once Jonah repented and began to obey God, he did so with a sour attitude.

(Attitude check. What did my heart reflect the last time I served God? Where was my focus?)


Jonah did his service…but with a sullen heart.
(Double Check. Am I serving with my whole heart? How can I prepare my heart to serve (and worship) more fully the next time I step up?) 


Then Jonah sat and complained as he saw God work a mighty work in the hearts and minds of the Ninevites.

(How do others see my example? Do they see Love? Am I offering a sullen heart to God or am I honoring God truthfully? ) 


There are so many good examples in God’s Word to give us guidance.
When was the last time you searched for answers?


All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in 
 righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate,equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB



Niccole Perrine moved to Idaho from Alaska in 2011. In her natural habitat she is seen having adventures with her husband and homeschooling her four children. In her spare time, she enjoys working with the youth at Meridian First Baptist Church, brainstorming new ways to love others as the Service Project Coordinator for AHG Troop ID2911, and plotting her first novel alongside legitimate authors in Idahope.

Committed to helping parents fulfill their God-given right and responsibility to educate their own children.