The Question of Why Do Bad Things Happen…to Me?

Perhaps we should look at the question backwards.

People rarely ask, when they are blessed by prosperity, with success as the world sees success, with happy relationships, with children who are disciplined and doing well academically, socially and so on, “Why me God? Why is life so good? Why am I so blessed? Look at poor Susan over there: her life has gone to hell in a hand-basket. Why do good things have to happen to me?”

Good things happening to good people–to me–are at least as common, perhaps more so, than the other two possiblities that cause so much disturbance in our thinking: bad things happening to good people, and good things happening to bad people.

Bad things happening to bad people, or good things coming to good people seems just as it should be. We’re never disturbed about blessings. But shouldn’t we wonder about those experiences as much as the uncomfortable ones that bother us? Are the expected things–the good things that are happening to us–not just as potentially disturbing? Or do our reactions to the positive experiences versus the negative ones have something to tell us about the nature of our question regarding the suffering of the righteous? Perhaps by thinking about the uncomfortable question backwards, we can gain some perspective. Perhaps we’ll get a clue about what really bothers us, and what that says about us and our approach to life.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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