Sunday 15 January 2012

fireplace: and who are you to judge, really?

If you put sin out of your hand and far away from you and let not evil dwell in your tents; then can you lift up your face to Him without stain [of sin, and unashamed]; yes, you shall be steadfast and secure; you shall not fear.
Job 11: 14-15 (Amplified)
The question we always ask is why good things happen to bad people and why bad things happen to good people. It’s understood that good things are supposed to happen to good people. You’re supposed to be rewarded for your faithfulness, for your good deeds, for your righteousness. So if you’ve suddenly faced a spate of bad luck it would seem that you must have messed up somewhere.

In a way, whilst what Job’s friends say to him aren’t wrong in itself, it begs the question: if my conscience is clear, who are you to judge and point fingers at me, saying that I am cursed because I have sinned? Are you any more righteous than me? Do you claim to know the mind of God? [And yet, many times, Christians claim just that. I don’t know how. Maybe I’m just not *spiritual* enough.]

It’s said that God causes the sun to shine on both the righteous and the wicked… and the rain to fall too. Shit happens. It does. Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be a reason for it. And yet, you get these sanctimonious, religious people, coming around to say “Repent! You’ve sinned!” [Or worse, “you don’t have enough faith!”] If Job, having been known to be a righteous man, has sinned, wouldn’t you think he would be the first to admit it and repent? But that’s the way we are - something bad happens, so we claim the right to judge and say “it must have been your fault!” But face it anyway. Judging by God’s standards, none of us can claim any form of righteousness, no matter how much good you’ve done, how much karma you’ve accumulated, or how much people praise your godliness.

Maybe I’m patch-working stuff together here, but doesn’t it also say that God only allows trials He knows you can withstand? He knew the depth of Job’s faithfulness, the strength of his faith and He also knew the right time to step in and show up. I think I’d like to believe in this God; the one who’s big enough to let you question him, the one who says great, “you have questions? Let’s talk about it.” I’m not in the camp that says that every thing that’s bad is a test or trial of your faith either. That’s really implying that life is a huge exam you have to suffer through and you may fail at any time. Which is sad. And stressful.

What I think is - we’ll never really know for sure here. Sometimes it could be a test. Sometimes it could be the the natural outworking of things you’ve done in the past. Sometimes… sometimes things happen to show you who you’ve really become. Or who knows? It might really be God’s judgement on you. But in admitting that we do not know [the whys and wherefores], we acknowledge God’s sovereignty, and then we are truly in a better place to help, rather than hinder, our fellow man.