Archive for September 27th, 2013

A reader posted a powerful question:

“Its J again…
Question for you: Evil People vs. Good People
Why does it seem like evil people are successful in life? They get everything they want, they keep getting blessed and they live longer.

Why does it seem like people who try to live a good (GODLY) life they can’t catch a break. . paycheck-to-paycheck, stress etc.”

My answer came out pretty well, so I thought I’d make it a post:

This is a painful question pondered by many, J. The answer is rooted in free will. Many of the behaviors of evil people lead directly to success; the biggest liar and manipulator on the sales team will usually be the top salesperson, for example. The evil person develops skill in seeing how to get the optimal outcome in every situation, and is willing to take whatever the actions are to get that most desirable outcome… which is why they so often get there.

These people are NOT being blessed, they are reaping the “rewards” of their evil in the same way that a child cheating on a test gets a higher score… this is NOT the work of God, as He NEVER rewards evil.

But why does He even permit it? Free will. We all believe in free will, we want to have it, we believe everyone should have it… but we’re naturally unhappy when evil people use it to achieve “surface success.”  If God were to block all evil behavior, we would not have free will anymore; more to the point, if being good is all we can do, rather than it being a matter of choice, then we are not demonstrating any actual virtue… and God wants us to CHOOSE right behavior in the same way that He wants us to CHOOSE faith rather than being “programmed” to have it.

And what is our reward for making those choices rather than the evil ones that lead so consistently to “surface success”? We have “true success,” the only kind that matters; our deep connection to God. Those evil people that have monetary and business success do NOT have that sort of connection to God. It is literally impossible for them to have it, because God does NOT reward evil in any way, including that most precious reward; His closeness.

Which would you rather have; “surface success” gained by evil acts, or to be close to God? It’s not a hard choice, looked at that way, is it?

Don’t envy the evil people who have achieved “surface success”; PITY them, because they have given up the only thing that matters, that thing that you and I are blessed with in abundance… closeness to the Lord.

Mark 8:36 (ESV)

36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

PS:  Most evil people have to struggle to pay their bills just like the rest of us do, we just don’t notice it because we focus on successful people. Imagine being broke AND not being close to God!!


Edit 12-12:  I ran across a verse that belongs here:

Psalm 37:7 (NLT)

Be still in the presence of the Lord,
    and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
    or fret about their wicked schemes.


Edit 4-9-14:  Here’s another good verse:

Job 8:20 (GNT)

20 But God will never abandon the faithful
    or ever give help to evil people.


Edit 3-5-15:  And another couple of good ones:

Proverbs 23:17 (NIRV)

17 Do not long for what sinners have.
    But always show great respect for the Lord. 

Proverbs 24:19 (VOICE)

19 Do not worry when evildoers go unpunished
    or be jealous when the wicked seem to prosper.

Edit 7-18-17: and another one:

Psalm 10:13-14 (NLT)

13 Why do the wicked get away with despising God?
They think, “God will never call us to account.”
14 But you see the trouble and grief they cause.
You take note of it and punish them.


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