Or do you ever wonder why bad things always seem to happen to you?
What if circumstances going bad weren’t actually a bad thing?
That seems difficult to grasp because “bad things” are bad. Hence their name. Likewise, good things are usually viewed as good. Also, hence their name. But what if the good keeps us from better? What if the bad is given to prompt us to change? What if being in a bad situation can be better than being in a good one?
The writer of Hebrews wrote, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives…God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” [Heb 12:5-7 (ESV)].
Ten years ago, a leadership book was written that challenged my thinking. Jim Collins wrote Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t. It is an examination of great companies and what made those companies great. Now that might sound boring, but I always read things with kingdom goggles on. When reading about great companies, I was thinking about great people. What makes those great people around me great?
The premise of the book is that being good is the biggest obstacle to being great. Things are fine. We are able to make ends meet. We don’t worry about our next meal. Our children are doing well in school. All of those things that are good prevent us from changing because we are scared of messing things up. In the process of being afraid to change, we miss the greatness in store for us.
People usually do not experience greatness by accident. It is something that people have to strive and work hard for. And greatness, when we see it, appears easy. What we don’t see is all of the hours of hard work behind the scenes that made that greatness possible. We don’t see all of the good risked in order for greatness to be achieved.
So what does this have to do with us?
Chances are things are good in our lives. Because they are good, we don’t want to make the changes necessary to strive for greatness. Steve Jobs, in his commencement address at Stanford in 2005, stated, “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.” He lost his good and went out to go after great. And I am thankful he did. After being fired from Apple, he went on to make Pixar. Without Pixar I would not be blessed with great movies like Finding Nemo, Cars, or Toy Story.
The good can hold us down. The good can keep us from trying new things. The good can keep us from going after what we really need to go after. The good is comfortable. The good is alluring. The good slowly suffocates and destroys. The bad can be better than the good.
If you’re down on your luck and things seem to be going bad, you are doing better than someone who just has it good because you are in a position to change. Whether you take advantage of that position or not is really what will decide whether you are living in the midst of God’s blessings tomorrow or once again wondering why you are down on your luck.
The choice is yours. Will you choose to remain down on your luck or just good enough, or will you choose to be a person of faith and pursue the dreams laid on your heart?
If things are bad, you have nothing to lose. You might as well try faith out. Things going bad should be viewed as discipline from the Lord to guide us onto the more perfect path. It’s time for change.
If things are good, it will be much more difficult to risk it all. I hope we all have the strength to pursue the great even when the comfortableness of the good ensnares us.
Imagine. There. On the other side of faith. Right there is the future you were destined for. Will you surrender your life to Jesus and go after it? Or will you remain good? Comfortable? The choice is yours.