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Why do good people suffer - Research Paper Example

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Why do good people suffer

Do we then simply have to accept things and tell ourselves, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21)? Not exactly, for in every human being, there is a natural curiosity to know why things happen, and especially why bad things happen to good people. We may feel angry and bitter at the suffering that good people experience and at all the injustice around us, but the Book of Job and the Scriptures somehow shed light on the idea that these sufferings, especially those of good people, indeed have a spiritual basis. The reasons why good people suffer are mostly implied in the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible. One of the essential points that the book is trying to emphasize is that God’s will transcends innocence. In simple terms, it means that God will not spare someone from suffering simply because one claims to be innocent. This further means that despite one’s goodness and obedience to God and to His laws, bad things may still happen to him. Job himself actually claims innocence when he states that he has not committed sins like lust, lies, idolatry and adultery. Job also reiterates that he has not failed to help the needy and the poor and his slaves, and that he has not even treated his enemies in an unfair way (Job 31:1-40, New International Version Holy Bible). Nevertheless, Job experiences extreme suffering. All these imply one thing – that God’s will is above man’s innocence. In fact, because of this, Job assumes that God is cruel, where such assumption is evident in the lines “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer” (Job 30:20), and, “You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me” (Job 30:21). Indeed, anyone who does not show compassion to the weak and innocent is viewed as cruel. Nevertheless, God remains above man’s innocence and man’s concept of sparing the innocent from suffering. The concept of innocence is actually one which is mostly misunderstood by the layman. Perhaps one reason for this is that man usually equates moral innocence with legal innocence. It is in this respect that man is mistaken. Good people suffer because “technically speaking there are no good [or innocent] people” (Slick). The apostle Paul echoes this in his Epistle to the Romans, where he says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). This means that no one is spared from sin. Paul even calls himself “chief of sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). Moreover, even Jesus Himself says, “Why do you call Me good?...No one is good except God alone” (Lk. 18:18). Furthermore, Job’s defense of himself by claiming that he has been a good man all along is actually not even plausible for everyone simply is a sinner, regardless of the good or the bad he has done. It is true that in terms of the law of the country or in terms of rules, it is clear who obeys it and who violates it. However, when it comes to the Scriptures, there are really no good people and that bad things just simply happen to them. What then is the effect of this sin? The apostle Paul describes the effects of sin on the Ephesians: “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed” (Eph. 4:19). Thus, sin, according to Paul, leads to more sin. Moreover, sin can lead to various physiological problems such as “liver problems, diabetes, heart disease” as well as emotional problems like “guilt, low self-esteem [and] loss of self-respect” (Vandermark). Thus, sin leads to both emotional and physical suffering. Lastly, perhaps the worst effect of sin is stated by the apostle Paul in ...Show more


When we see children abused, kidnapped and killed, and when we see that guy with a promising career get stabbed and murdered, what do we think? We tell ourselves that these people do not deserve to die. …
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