Why Do Good Things Happen To Bad People But Bad Things Happen To Good People? (Part 1)
“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
This subject has been one that many Christians and non-Christians alike tend to ask religious & spiritual authorities. This is a valid question and one that, to those who ask, demands an answer. According to the bible, we will see five things that explain why good things happen to bad people and bed things happen to good people.
Disclaimer: The following devotional is not intended to serve as an all inclusive explanation for life events. It is intended to explain life events in a biblical perspective and not exhume past memories and hurts. Our intention is to help and not hurt.
According to our text, we see that God had entrusted Adam with great responsibility. With this responsibility, Adam had free reign to make choices as he saw fit, with the things that God had gave him. According to the bible, God gave Adam the tools needed to do the job that He assigned Adam to do. “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Additionally, God gave Adam a choice, obedience or disobedience, right or wrong, good or evil. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” So we see that God gave Adam and Eve choices. They had to make a decision whether or not if they would disobey God or obey Him.
The definition of choice is:
the act of choosing : the act of picking or deciding between two or more possibilities
: the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities : the opportunity or power to make a decision
: a range of things that can be chosen
Oftentimes we make bad decisions or not so great decisions. Have you ever stopped to think about what it is that drives your decisions? Most can be categorized here:
- Impulse – “I like what I see so I will choose this”
- Values – “I will decide on this because I have been taught to think this way”
- Morals – “I will make a decision based on whether it is right or wrong”
- Finances – “I will choose this because it will not cost me as much”
- Social Influence – “If I choose this then what will people say or think”
- Logic – “This decision makes the best sense and will produce the best result”
- Fear – “I’m afraid to make a decision because what if….”
- Ignorance – “What’s the use of choosing because it doesn’t matter anyways.”
When we make decisions it’s not just about making a choice, it is more about why we choose or our motives for choosing. If one makes choices in the area of:
- Impulses – They have very little care for cause & effect. Uncaring Spirit.
- Values – They care a great deal about why & what they choose. Understanding Spirit
- Morals – They care about the effect that it will have on others & themselves. Unified Spirit
- Finances – They see the price tag before they know the cost of the choice. Unprofitable Spirit
- Social Influence – They see others as judge and jury of their lives. Unusual Spirit
- Logic – They must make decisions based on a scientific & realistic approach. Unbelieving Spirit
- Fear – They make decisions by what is least scary. Upset Spirit
- Ignorance – Refuse to decide because of information or indecision. Unwilling Spirit
The opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities is another definition of choice. We often make poor decisions for poor reasons. When we make poor choices for poor reasons we can be assured that the fruits of these decisions will come back to haunt us. The bible gives us this stern warning: Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” This reminds us:
1. “Be not deceived” – There are actually people that believe that they can make poor decisions and poor choices and really expect nothing bad to occur. The bible tells us this in Ecclesiastes 8:11 “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” This literally means that because God doesn’t strike you down right now, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences later. So because there aren’t any immediate punishments, we take this as a sign of acceptance, weakness and approval. This is not the case at all! Don’t mistake God’s Grace and Mercy as a sign of weakness or that He approves of evil or bad behavior.
2. “God is not mocked” – There are those that commit reprehensible acts against innocent people without remorse or regard to their freedom, liberty or God’s Holy Law. They may even chant, “God could have stopped me if He didn’t want me to do it.” I believe that they miss that He is giving them the opportunity to make the right choice which they obviously didn’t. This is why the world makes fun of the church and says that “Religion is a crutch”. I would rather have the crutch of Jesus and walk with Him than to be paralyzed and in the wheelchair of the devil. These people are the very ones that blaspheme God, critique Christians and disobey Gods law but call upon His name when they are in trouble. They mock God horribly. It’s their choice but there are downsides to this choice. The bible says in Proverbs 14:9 “Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.” So you’re either a fool or you’re favored. Which are you?
3. “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” – This continues to be an issue with many people and they fail to understand that choices are important. If I choose to drink alcohol heavily for years without regard to the effects then I am responsible for the outcome. I know of a woman that drank alcohol heavily for 30 years. She finally went to counseling at 50 years of age and became sober. At age 55 she developed liver cancer and died almost as soon as she discovered it. Is this fair? Well, I will say that it is an expected outcome of a life devoted to drinking. I mean the warning is right there on the bottle or can of alcohol. What about a good moral person that lives in an area where there is no crime but they are the victim of a violent robbery that leaves them totally disfigured. What did they do to deserve this? Listen, sometimes bad things happen to good people for no apparent reason except the criminal sees them as persons of opportunity. We will talk more about this vignette in part 3 and 4 of this series.
When we make bad choices, we can’t logically expect God to bless them. Also, when we make good choices, there is no guarantee that God will give us a shield of invincibility. We read in 2 Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” What we can depend on is that God will give us grace and mercy to deal with anything that we encounter in that moment. In tomorrow’s devotional we will talk about the effects of our choices and how it fits into good and bad. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.