One of my favorite things to say is “Bad things don’t happen to Christians.” I tell myself this often.
What the heck do I mean?
Peter was crucified upside down. Stephen was stoned. Paul went through the ringer on the regular. All this I freely admit, yet I maintain that bad things do not happen to Christians.
Maybe I ought to define my terms.
Here’s what I mean by Christian: a person who had subjugated all agenda of his own to the agenda of spreading the message of Christ. A Christian is a person who says “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!“
With me so far?
Good. Now we will define “bad things.” Simply put, “bad things” is nothing but shorthand for “things which inconvenience me.” However, we must note that the same situation (“thing”) may be inconvenient or convenient (“bad” or “good”) depending on one’s agenda. If my agenda is to become a concert pianist, traumatic amputation of my left arm is a bad thing. However, if my agenda is to become permanently ineligible for the draft, traumatic amputation of my left arm is a good thing.
Convenience is determined by agenda.
Archie Campbell makes the relationship between convenience and agenda more plain.
This is why bad things don’t happen to Christians: because absolutely nothing is inconvenient to you when your purpose is to preach the Gospel.
So, when I find myself starting to think my circumstances inconvenient, when I start to feel like bad things are happening to me, I remind myself that bad things don’t happen to Christians. I unfuck my priorities, and re-subjugate my agenda to Christ’s. And then I start noticing how the situation I was complaining about presents opportunities to pursue Christ’s agenda.
So, are bad things happening to you? If so, remember that bad things don’t happen to Christians. Change your agenda. Subjugate it to Christ’s. Suddenly, despite being in the very same circumstances, you will find that nothing bad is happening to you.
Might you suffer and be persecuted? Sure, but that’s a cause for rejoicing. Take pleasure in it. It is a gift, a cause for glory and pure joy.
Your focus must be on better and more lasting things than this life.
Bad things don’t happen to Christians.
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. —Colossians 3:1-3