If you saw the movie “The Sound of Music,” you might remember the sweet, romantic song Maria sang in the gazebo after the captain declared his love. She couldn’t believe something so wonderful could happen in her life, which is probably why she sang that at some point, she must have done something good to deserve it. If this is true of how God works in the world, the reverse must also be true: when bad things happen, it’s because we’ve done something equally bad.
Sadly, this is how many people perceive life and they think God metes out blessings and curses based on our behavior. Some even believe Jesus was crucified because God wanted to punish someone for the sins of humanity and Jesus was “it.” But God didn’t send Jesus to the cross to be punished and he doesn’t bless or curse us because of what we do or don’t do. If he did, we’d all be in bad shape.
In Matthew 5, Jesus told people to love their enemies and pray for those who persecuted them because when they did this, they’d be true children of their Father in heaven. Then he told them in verse 46: “For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” He also blesses obedience but he’s certainly not capricious or arbitrary. When bad things happen, it’s either chance or bad choices. When we’re blessed, let’s just be grateful.