Don’t envy evil people. Proverbs 24:1 NLT
While studying the book of James, I wrote an article entitled, “I am the Rich Person James is Talking to.” The article brings our attention to the fact that, we are not the poor but rather the rich who God is talking about. Likewise we should not assume that others are evil and we are righteous.
Something good happens to us, and we flatter ourselves that God must be with us because we are so righteous. Then something good happens to someone “bad” and we marvel, How did that happen?
We are forgetting a couple of things. One, we are not so good and righteous ourselves. Secondly, rain and sunshine fall on good and bad alike.
No one is righteous- not even one. Romans 3:10 NLT
Most of us have heard of the book, “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People.” I am sure it is a wonderful book. There is only one problem. There are no good people for bad things to happen to!
Sometimes the church school where I give Bible studies asks me to substitute teach for the day. One day when I did so I had some trouble with a hyper student. The next time that I subbed, he came up to me and declared that he was not going to cause me any trouble. I could see the sincerity in his eyes, but by lunch time he was being disciplined. Tears were in his eyes. I could sense his frustration of not living up to his promise, and letting me down. While he saw
So, when people ask why bad things happen to good people, I am wondering where all these good people are? Fact is, there are no good people for bad things to happen to. Fact is,good things happen to bad people, like us all the time.himself as a “troubled child” and me as “the righteous Bible teacher” I had to let him know I knew just how he felt! Many times I promised Jesus, I was not going to cause Him any trouble only to be in trouble by lunch time. I too have cried those tears. No, there is none righteous, no, not one.
He [God] gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. Matthew 5:45 NLT
A former pastor decided to go a year without God, and see what happens. A year later he concluded there was no God because He could not see any difference in his life. He forgot one simple thing. While He forgot about God, God did not forget about him! God was still blessing and sustaining him, regardless if he recognized it or not.
Both good and bad things fall on us all, regardless of how good or bad we think we are. I was doing a series of Bible studies with a lady who was extremely bitter towards her ex-husband. She wanted him to die! One day while studying the state of the dead, I told her she did not need to waste time wishing her husband would die. He would die whether she wanted him to or not. We all will. You don’t have to wish for evil to fall on your enemy, because it is going to regardless. And it will happen to you too. Its how we learn. Its how we grow. Its how we wake up and see a God who loves us even though we are not all that, even though we are nothing!
While I have been tempted to see my cause as righteous, and those opposing me as evil, this quote helped me see things as they really are.
Humans are very seldom either totally sincere or totally hypocritical. Their moods change, their motives are mixed, and they often themselves are quite mistaken as to what their motives are. – C.S. Lewis
All of us who have worked with young people, find that some kids are going to misbehave no matter how much you discipline or bribe them. While we find other kids, who always behave without any bribes or threats. They may even see other kids getting away with bad behavior, but they do not copy them, for the simple reason that is not who they are. They have decided to do what is right simply because it is right. They do not deem themselves more righteous than anyone else, it is just their lives have been touched by God’s amazing grace. Even though they see good and bad falling on obedient and disobedient alike, they choose to obey for one simple reason, Jesus said,
“If you love me, obey my commandments.” John 14:15 NLT
You can study the Proverbs Sabbath School lessons here.