The story of Jonah is a lesson in group dynamics.  Our relationship with one part of a group inevitably effects our relationships with other parts of the group.  Jonah had such a hatred for Nineveh that it changed his relationship with God.  He wanted God to be merciful to him but not to the people of Nineveh.

For some people religion is all about their relationship with God.  And I do mean ALL about that relationship.  They can be fervent in prayer and worship and meditation.  Then they treat their fellowman with disdain and contempt.

For other people religion is all about social action, advocating for one cause or another.  They often have no theology to speak of.  While trying to speak for some people they deride others, sometimes for no other reason than that they have a faith in God.

A healthy group can expand in all directions.  A group can have a deeper relationship with God and a stronger commitment to social action.  The growth won’t be even. That is fine as long as one is not a denial of the other.

If you feel the pull from both relationships at once you can feel stretched by the demands of the relationships.  The stretching is from the outside.  If you choose you can stretch from the inside, but then it is called growth.

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