Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why Do Good Things Happen To Bad People?

This question isn't exactly en vogue. The reverse gets a lot of press, but this one not so much. We should get people to start asking this question. It's not the angst-riddled riddle that plagues your average person on the street. But it should be. 

None of us even begin to realize how much mercy and grace is poured out on us every single day. We all enjoy innumerable gifts we do not deserve. We all are spared innumerable miseries we have no existential right to avoid.

The fact that people who utterly reject God continue have air to breathe and beating hearts and any sense of pleasure whatsoever, for any length of time whatsoever, is an amazing merciful gift!

Matthew 5:44-45 (emphasis added):
[Jesus said], Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Why do good things happen to bad people?!

Only the merciful love of God.

There are angry atheists who will hug a loved one today and be hugged in return. Some of them will eat succulent steak tonight (they have tastebuds!). Some of them will enjoy the pleasures of the marriage bed tonight (they have erogenous zones!).

There are indifferent agnostics who could not care less what Jesus said or did, and they will lay their head down on a bed tonight…with a pillow! They will drink clean water – even in DE! They will go to the grocery store and pick up beautiful produce they did not grow, miraculous vegetables and fruits they did not plant or water or harvest. They most certainly did not supply the seed or the water or the miracle that is top soil.

There are sour church goers who think they’ve kept the rules and lived a good life and are smugly self-righteous. They look down with contempt on so many lazy, immoral, distasteful inferiors. They don’t need a bloody cross. They’ve kept the rules. They deserve the paycheck of a good life and warm, congratulatory entrance into heaven. They’ve earned it. No matter they turn their back on the cross of Christ as unnecessary (at least for the likes of them), or they belittle and downsize it to be just an example of sacrificial love we should try to emulate. "God helps those who help themselves! If only more people would get off their selfish, lazy tails and try a little harder!" These hypocrites wear warm clothes all winter! They pull warm blankets around them and never shiver the whole night through! They go on vacations and feel the satisfaction of warm sand between their toes! They feel the warmth of the sun on their skin! They enjoy laughter with friends! (Maybe that last one was a stretch.)

There are relativists (with, as one writer put it, "their morality firmly planted in mid-air") who reject the unshakable truth that Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the way, the truth, and the life. They will read today, because they can (they have books)! They will listen to beautiful music! Many of them will never worry where their next meal is coming from! They will not have to beg, borrow,  or steal.

How should your paragraph read? Sometimes it's really helpful to ask the questions nobody's asking. 

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