I love the story of Jonah! It’s full of drama and important life lessons. After stubbornly refusing to do God’s will, Jonah finally preached a revival service in Nineveh that would have made him one of the most successful missionaries of his time. When the people repented and turned from their wicked ways—and when God relented and turned from His anger against them—you would have expected Jonah to rejoice. Instead, he was angry that God was merciful. Why? Although he was finally obeying God by doing the right thing in the right place, he was deeply flawed on the inside.

Like Jonah, if we are not careful, we can be spiritually “looking good” on the outside, but far from God in our hearts. He is most interested in what we are like on the inside. His Word is “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit” (Heb. 4:12). With it, He performs divine surgery to remove the greed, dishonesty, hatred, pride, and selfishness that live in the deep shadows of our hearts.

So the next time the Holy Spirit convicts you and asks you about your bad attitude (see Jonah 4:4)—listen carefully. Surrender and let Him change you from the inside out.