Folio 9 from the codex; beginning of the Gospe...

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How many times have you heard or even said, “Why to bad things happen to good people”? Conceptually, I understand the spirit in which it is asked. It’s another way of saying, “If there really is a loving God, why does he let bad things happen to good people”? It is the inquiry of a small child who doesn’t understand asked to his/her parent. First and foremost, God has already answered this for us if you believe the Bible is His Word: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” – Matt. 5:44-45

God is not only “God” but also your Father. He loves all of His children, good or bad. His sacrifice was for both the just and the unjust (1Pet. 3:18) – He is willing that all come to repentance. The sun comes up every day (or “good things happen”), for both the good and the bad. It rains (or “bad things happen”), on both the good and the bad. Bad things happening to someone says nothing about if they are “good” or not. Accidents happen in this world and people get hurt and die. Evil is a choice made by individuals on a day to day basis, we may or may not encounter evil directly. But good and bad things happen to those people too. So “bad things” will continue to happen to “good people” (as well as the converse) as it has absolutely nothing to do with God or His love.

Now then, to the “letter” of the statement “Why do bad things happen to good people”. What makes a “good person” anyway? To certain parents in the Middle East, for example, seeing their son blow himself up in a bus full of children is the ultimate “good deed”. They believe that he is going straight to heaven with God telling him “well done”. They call him a martyr and will venerate his memory forever. Certainly there can be no arbitrary standard about “goodness”. If there is even such a thing as “good” at all, it is not up to the individual to decide if they are “good”. It is not up to a given society to decide it either, as a society is just a collection of individuals. There has to be a Lawgiver, one who lays out that standard. And if we are to be forgiven for transgressing that standard, that is also, by necessity, only in the hands of that Lawgiver. Those are the rules we play by which establishes the “good”. Not our own rules, not our society’s. As children, our Father has already seen to all of this, and has answered our questions before we ever thought to ask them. Seek, and you will find.

Maybe a future blog about free will vs. destiny? Time will tell… 🙂

Note: originally written 3/28/08

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