The Christian and Decreasing Home Prices
by Gary Schmidt

How do you feel about the decrease in home values?  Let's look to Jonah as an example of how not to feel.


In Jonah chapter 4, Jonah has preached to the people of Nineveh, and they have repented of their sins.  However, since Nineveh was an enemy of Israel, Jonah was angry.

In verse 5, Jonah leaves the city and creates for himself a small shed from where he can see if the Lord would destroy Nineveh.  Nineveh is in the country of Iraq and like now it was very hot at the time.  Our gracious God prepared a gourd where Jonah could retreat from the hot sun.  Then in verse 7, God sends a worm to eat on the gourd.  When the sun rose the following day the gourd had withered and again Jonah was under the hot sun.  He again wishes he would die.


Jonah 4:10, 11 says, "Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou has not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:  And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?"

I think our lesson comes from the Lord's exhortation to Jonah in verses 10 and 11.  I see some parallels between our homes and Jonah's gourd.  Any increase in our homes value is a gift from God in much the same way Jonah's gourd was to him.  In many American markets the home values have increased in recent years much without any work on the part of the homeowner.  We should not be angry or distraught because of this.

In verse 11, God asks Jonah to focus his attention on the people of Nineveh.  We should focus our attention away from ourselves and on those who have far less than we do.  The Jonah in chapter 4 was a terribly unhappy person.  We will have much more happiness if we put our priorities in order:  Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself.  Live by the acronym JOY and you will lead a much more joyful life.

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