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Why Do I Feel Punished For Doing Good?

Punished Doing Good

Will God Come Through For Me This Time?

Following God forces us to take several steps of faith. We ask questions like, “will God come through for us this time?”. Oftentimes our question is not in what is the right thing to do, but will I be taken care of if I do this?

  • A computer programmer refuses to be a part of a project that will put pornography into a game. He gets fired and is then out of work for a year.
  • A real estate agent works several weeks to find a great house for her client given their specific family needs and work location. The client then works a deal directly with the seller cheating the agent out of her commission.
  • A wife gives her husband another chance after she finds out he’s had an affair. They go through months of counseling only to have him give up and run off with the mistress.
  • A long-time volunteer at a church privately asks the new pastor about some questionable things he is noticing being done. Afterward, the pastor spreads lies about this member, and people who have known him his whole life are now turning on him.

We know the commands of forgiving, loving, and believing the best. But, we don’t always feel God is taking care of us as we follow through with these commands.

I Did Good and Lost Something

Last week I went for a hike with my family up in the mountains. It was a beautiful trip with many waterfalls and bridges. There was a section with a natural pool in the stream where many people had stopped to enjoy a swim.

At the back end of this pool, the water came together at a more shallow point where many people not swimming walked across the river. This section of the river started a fast area of cold rapids heading out of the pool.

As I was walking across with my daughters, I was wearing flip flops to protect my feet from the rocks. With each step, the current wanted to take my shoes with it down the river. As I was about halfway across, there was a loud, little kid scream.

I looked up, and about a foot away there was a little boy standing by himself in the rapids screaming. He looked scared and immobilized with fear. I was the only adult near him, so I stepped over to him and picked him up. As I moved him toward the edge of the river, the current stole my shoe. With this kid in my hands, all I could do was watch it be swept downstream.

After I safely placed this child on dry ground, I lamented the loss of my shoe. Now I know my $1.00 Wal-Mart flip flops do not compare to any real problem people face, but it did awaken a choice within me. Was I going to agree with the lie that doing good would cost me something or was I going to believe God rewards those who do good?

We Give Up On Doing Good

I think this is the real issue most of us face. We initially start out unquestionably doing good, but then something happens. We get taken advantage of. We lose something that is important to us. And then, we regret the decision to do good. We regret serving, loving, or going. We experience the loss. We feel the pain.

Then we make the decision not to trust God will take care of us.

We become more hesitant about doing good. We are more reserved about forgiving others. It becomes hard to love others when our priority is protecting ourselves.

Let’s Find My Flip Flops

I decided to make my lost flip flop an adventure. I gathered my kids, and we started down the little rapids to try and find my shoe.

As a kid, climbing over rocks and hiking through the cold mountain stream is a lot of fun. For a parent, this adventure was high stress. What if they slip? What if they get swept down river? Sometimes it is hard letting your children spread their wings.

This shoe-finding mission became a 30-45 minute journey down the river. My girls were bouncing over rocks and through the water while I followed behind trying to catch up with my one shoe and one barefoot. We were all having a great time as we went.

Eventually, I just started thanking God for the adventure and the fun we were having. I started thinking we needed to start heading back, and then on the side of the river, there was my lost flip flop.

Let’s Keep Believing God To Work Out the Good

I’m not saying we will always get back that thing we lost. But, I do think that we often sabotage God’s redemption because we get frustrated about what we lost. We stop believing God’s goodness and expect the need to take care of ourselves.

Will we believe God is a good father and take care of our every need? Maybe our frustrations are invitations to join God on an adventure. Maybe it is a setup to get us to grow in faith that God always makes all things good for us who love Him.

I wanted to share this to encourage you to never give up on God. His love for you never runs out. His provisions are lavished on you from the abundance of heaven. He has not left you or forgotten you. Hang on and keep pressing in.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. – Hebrews 10:35-36

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