Q136: Why do good people get bad things or illnesses?

For many reasons and some unknown causes. There is no easy or simple answer to this very often asked question. And please be wary of anybody who says they know.

Bad things can happen to good people and we cannot know why while here on earth. But bad things can also happen to good people…who could be said to be stupid because they do not think very deeply. They eat too much of the wrong foods and maybe drink too much, get too fat and get heart disease, high blood pressure and other sicknesses. Mostly they can be controlled and avoided by being sensible and eat the right food.

God does not cause sickness to us but he does know the future and in many cases God will use a sickness to have a person stop, slowdown, get a medical check up and think about where and how their life is going. This ’Answerer’ (Peter Harris) has had an experience like that.

In 100 QUESTIONS Vol.1, I wrote a description of the drastic changes in my life that led to my being a teacher, then a Scripture teacher for 24 years – and these two books and the 200 questions is a part of the changes brought about by God after I broke my back. Question 72 partly answers your question – about me.

There is a very popular song (hymn) called Amazing Grace. Nobody does not like it. John Newton (1726-1807) wrote it after he had become a preacher later in life. For 30 or 40 years he had led a very bad life. He suffered a lot, was a slave for several years too. On at least five occasions ’Something’ saved him from death. They are described in his life story. God was watching over him – and an illiterate, not an especially pretty girl, became his wife. He thought of, and dreamed of her, very, very often, over many years. He longed to marry her – but had no money to do so. The song ’Amazing Grace’ was Newton’s ’Thank you’ song to God who had led him so far and so safely through life, even though he had often been foolish.

Finally, learning to live with a bad sickness often brings out qualities inside of us, like compassion and care that we did not know we had.

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The Answerer

The Answerer - Peter Harris, answered children's questions from his many years of teaching "Scripture" classes.
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