It’s not always easy to do the right thing, and it can often seem pretty frustrating. Often it seems that the bad guys are getting ahead – cheating and stealing and enjoying their ill-gotten goods while the nice guys finish last. Timothy tells us that following the scripture and doing the right thing is not easy, “In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” And that doesn’t seem right either. Following the scripture, following the law should have a reward, not persecution. And what about the people who go the other way? Should they get the reward instead of the righteous? Timothy says, “But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.”
Those who follow the scripture and do God’s will and God’s work despite the obstacles and the persecution will have a reward. They will be prepared to do any good work, and according to the psalm, if nothing else, they will have the peace that comes with knowing they are doing the right thing, whether that is the easy or profitable thing or not.
I, myself, often wonder how the cheaters and liars and thieves can live with themselves. I’m sure it’s nice to have the money and the stuff, but what peace can they have knowing that their bounty comes at the cost of someone else’s work and betrayal? The nice guys may finish last, but they’ll know that whatever they accomplish they do by their own work and integrity. And even if the bad guys cheat their way to the top, they can’t have the peace of integrity or a feeling of accomplishment. Even if people can cheat their way through this world, that’s not going to work in the next.
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