Q: Why is it that everything in life seems to go wrong when a Christian tries to live according to the Word? Examples: faithful wives, loving, sacrificing moms who have husbands cheat . . . children call only when they need something . . . friends and family only contact me when they need help.  —Kim

A: I take it from your question that you (or someone dear to you) has experienced the painful examples that you gave. If so, please know that our hearts and prayers go out to you.

Some might ask your question and struggle to answer it because they’ve been operating under the assumption that following Jesus makes us immune to suffering. The truth is that living according to God’s Word doesn’t shield us from getting hurt by others. As Jesus’ life reveals, along with the lives of many who have followed Him, godly living can invite persecution. The examples of hurt you mentioned in your question, however, are often not the result of godly living. In most cases, they come about because people continue to make selfish choices out of the sinfulness that remains in our hearts.

As you wrestle with this question, it can be helpful to realize that in most cases not “everything” in life goes wrong all at once. While some things (sometimes some very significant things) do go wrong, usually there are other things in life that are still going relatively well. At times, it can certainly feel like everything is falling to pieces, but it helps from becoming overwhelmed when we can recognize both the good and the bad of life simultaneously and to remember that God can even use even hard things to work out His purposes for our lives (Romans 8:28).  —Jeff Olson

Feel free to submit a “you choose Q” to ODJ by using the contact us form on the home page!