Detox Doctrine: Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Q: Why do bad things happen to good people?

A: First of all, you’re making an assumption that you are “good people,” when in actuality, we are all bad. We are sinners, we have fallen short of the glory of God. It’s another argument that has to do with who is setting the standard. Are you good? Compared to whom? The serial killer in jail? The Taliban? Pedophiles and prostitutes and child abusers? The standard for man is not “as long as I’m better than my neighbor then I’m ok”, it’s “how do I stack up to Jesus?” Romans 3:10-12 makes it clear that no one even comes close to be “good” in the eyes of God. Isaiah 64:6- In fact, your good deeds and acts of righteousness are like filthy rags in the sight of God. Man comes nowhere near the level of the goodness of God. Realize first that there are no “good” people. We are all depraved, sinful, and fallen short of the Glory of God.

Maybe a better question would be “why do good things happen to bad people like us?” Walk through the Gospel with me. Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9, John 3:16. We don’t deserve anything, yet God gave us his best. Why did God do that for me? That ought to be a question that blows your mind.

Another question could be “Why do bad things happen to people that seem to be undeserving of them?” God will do things we don’t understand, but one thing we do need to remember is why God does anything at all. God does things and puts things into action to bring Himself Glory and make His name known. God isn’t there to make you happy, or wealthy, or to make sure you never had a bad day. This gig isn’t about you, it’s all about Him. If we don’t understand it, guess what, that’s ok. God doesn’t have to explain himself to us and get our approval before he does things. Check out Proverbs 3:5-6.

Another thing to remember is that we are not the judge. Everyone will stand accountable for their life here on earth. God is the judge, not you.

So why do bad things happen to good people? Remember first that the standard for good and evil is God, and in his sight no one is good. Secondly, God doesn’t have to get our approval or explain himself to his creation every time he makes a move or something happens. And lastly, this question should honestly confront us with the grace and love and hope of the Gospel more than anything else. Why would God show us any favor and love and allow us to enjoy anything he has made? But despite being an enemy of God and rebelling against him, he gives us another chance at forgiveness and salvation through Jesus.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I totally agree that (obviously) nobody knows the mind of GOd, but I also think it's important to realize that "bad things" don't necessarily come from God.

Living in a fallen world, bad things happen to people that God never intended for humanity—cancer, murder, abuse, addiction—but he allows them to happen because they are consequences of our fallenness.

When you look at it like that, how could we possibly blame God for terrible, inexplicable things? God can make good happen out of any awful situation, but that doesn't mean he caused the situation.

I mean, right?