Why Do Bad Things Happen?

Those who know me know I have a wacky (some would say warped) sense of humor. So a few weeks ago when our pastor quoted from the book of Matthew, I got to thinking

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?

And not one of them will fall to the ground

without your Father’s will. But even

the hairs of your head are all numbered.”

~ Matthew 10: 29-30

about what the scripture said and meant, and what it didn’t, about why bad things happen. Here’s where my wacky sense of humor comes in. So if sparrows don’t fall without it being God’s will, and even just your hair is more important than the sparrow, does that mean that no hair falls from your head that God has not ordained?

Obviously, I’m no theologian, but I’ve never heard a Bible scholar, an ordained minister, or for that matter, a hairdresser, say that God wants you to be bald or that it is God’s will that you’re losing your hair.

small bird covered in ice, dead, on wood deck rail

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is known. Some times, it is by accident, or a confluence of events, and sometimes, it is simply a mystery.

Why Bad Things Happen

Yet when someone you love dies, or you get cancer, or you lose your job, chances are good that at least one well-intentioned person is going to tell you that it has happened because it is God’s will. Or, that God is punishing you or testing you.

Some people believe this to be correct and true.

I’m not one of those people. I’m someone who believes that bad things happen to us and to those we love simply because they happen. I also believe that some times we can learn from those bad things and grow through them in ways that bring us closer to ourselves and closer to those we love.

When you lose your job, that’s a good chance to learn from what happened. When you divorce, ask yourself, what role did I play in this ? When someone you love dies, learn to feel your own pain, to let yourself heal and to embrace life again.

Have Courage and Trust

The next time someone tells you that something terrible happened to you or to someone you love because it was, “God’s will,” and that statement does not fit your understanding of God, what will you say?

It can be too easy to minimize your feelings or to tell yourself you don’t care what was said or that it doesn’t matter. If you can rejoice that you understand God has intentionally caused you this pain, you don’t need to do anything.

If, on the other hand, if you are hurt by those remarks, then gather your courage and deal with the problem by speaking to the person about what was said.

That’s what it means to love yourself. Trust that you are worth the effort. Trust that you will find the words so that the other person understands your point of view.

Live Honest, Open and True

Some things happen for no reason that you can fathom, and that’s okay. It’s what you do after they happen that determines whether you grow in those experiences. Let yourself feel your feelings, and take care of yourself by doing what is right for you, without letting others dictate what you should believe or feel, or how you should act.

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Tweet: What do you say when someone imposes their religious belief on your tragedy? A blog post by D’Anne Hotchkiss

Tweet: What do you say when someone imposes their religious belief on your tragedy? A blog post by D’Anne Hotchkiss http://ctt.ec/Qtvaw+

How do you handle a well-meant but hurtful comment from someone? Do you struggle to be assertive? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!

Related Posts: Be True to You

The Right Thing to Say When Someone Dies

Never Let Words Have Power Over You

A New Way to Look at Grieving

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