[Papercut Press] 1999-12-20 - Do You Believe in Luck?

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

In the Holland a woman recently found over $10,000 in an envelope on the street. She was faced with a dilemma we all would face, turn it in, or keep it. She gave the money to the police and received a reward from the individual who had lost the cash. Several days later she won the lottery and collected an amount 4x the amount she had turned into the police (or about $40,000).

Did God reward her for her good deed? I think many of us would be tempted to respond, "Yes, one good turn deserves another, and God saw her good deed and re-paid her with a good turn in her favor." Let us not say this too fast. Let's deliberate and ponder a little.

Was the act of turning in the money really a good deed, or was it the right thing to do? We often give ourselves and others more credit than either of us deserve. To turn in the money was simply the right thing to do. It was, on her part, a moral act of honesty. There is really nothing that deserves merit when someone does what he or she should do. It is exactly what should be done and therefore it is expected.

This is not how the world works. It is however, how the world should work. Doing the right thing is not a common thing. That is why when a woman finds a huge wad of cash on the street and does the right thing, people take notice, and write about it. It is unusual. It is even rare, but it shouldn't be.

To go further and say that she won the lottery because she did a good turn is to really take things too far. Thousands of other people found money the very same day the woman in Holland did. Some turned it in and some kept what they found. There can be no correlation to luck or karma based on such events. Those who do not turn in large sums of money do not, a few days later, have horrible car accidents, experience a death in the family, or have their houses burn down. To think in terms of events happening in such a manner is a less than helpful way of understand God's providence.

Many of us are in a season of good will. Many of us are being extra kind, and trying to remain cheerful amidst the hustle and bustle of all that tends to go on this time of year. Good deeds, healthy attitudes, fluid joy, and the such are principles that flow out of a walk with Christ. But we must be careful not to focus on the kindness and forget the person behind our ability to be kind. We cannot practice deeds of righteousness and divorce ourselves from the One righteous person Jesus Christ. Works apart from Christ are nice, but have little eternal meaning.

It is the person of Christ, the One who has been kind to us, the One who has loved us when we were/are unlovable, who gives us the ability to be kind, joyful, and to celebrate with those whom we love and who love us. I used to see the expression, "Jesus is the reason for the season," in years past, and I am sure it is out there this year even though I have yet to see it. But let us remember that in this season of kindness, joy, peace, and love--There is One who has been supremely kind to us, there is One who gives us reason to have Joy, there is One who has brought peace between us and God the Father, there is One whose love to us has been unmatched. Yes, Jesus is the reason for all our seasons.

Soli Deo Gloria,