Time for a new series! Let’s start talking about what happens when we find ourselves flat on our faces. Life isn’t always pretty, but we can get through it as Christians. For today, we’ll think about getting knocked down.
First off, when something bad happens to me, is it my fault?
It can be, but not always. If we do something wrong there can be consequences. Let’s say I’m on my way to school or work and I’m running late. So I go faster than the speed limit. If I’m caught, I may get a fine. Or have to go to court. In that case, I did something wrong, and I may be punished for it.
For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. – Romans 13:4
But that doesn’t mean that anytime something bad happens to me, it’s my fault. What if I’m walking my dogs and they see a squirrel? Maybe they forget what angelic creatures they usually are (just kidding) and barrel headlong at the critter. And I fall and sprain my ankle.
That’s a bad thing. But did it happen to punish me? No. Dogs misbehave. Squirrels walk around outside. And I’m naturally clumsy.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
God isn’t just sitting on a cloud waiting for us to mess up so He can throw lightning bolts at us.
Why Bad Stuff Happens
God believes in choices, and He gives them to everybody. It doesn’t mean there aren’t right and wrong choices, but He lets us pick. He put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to begin with. They had a chance to live in a peaceful world without sin. Or they could let evil have a place.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned – Romans 5:12
They chose wrong. There hasn’t been a person who didn’t sin besides Jesus. Since people gave up the option of having a pure world and chose one in which they had more knowledge and responsibility, we have a less than perfect world.
It Feels Like It’s Just Me
I promise it’s not. Bad things happen to everybody. I have days where I shut my finger in the car door too. The purple is almost gone from my fingernail two months later.
Everybody has temptations and sins.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. – 1 John 1:8
Bad things happen to everybody.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. – James 1:2-3
James didn’t say “if you fall”. He said “when”. And if these trials were because of something we did, then we should be sorry about it rather than joyful.
We all get knocked down. Sometimes it’s our fault. Sometimes it’s someone else’s fault. Sometimes it’s not directly anyone’s fault.
So what do we do about it? Check out Part 2 here!
May the Lord bless and keep you,