Skip to main content

When wicked people seem to succeed

"Do not fret when wicked people seem to succeed!
Do not envy evildoers!
For they will quickly dry up like grass,
and wither away like plants."
Psalm 37:1-2

Look at anything happening in US news (politics?) right now and it seems that "evildoers" and "wicked" are constantly winning, succeeding, triumphing over those that are trying to live right and with integrity.  It is easy to point fingers at those people out there...

But because of Jesus' ministry and those that He considered to be wicked and evil, I see this scripture speaking about the wicked within the church.  The wicked were those that created fictitious rules in the name of God to oppress others.  The evil were those that grabbed on to power, particularly religious power, to keep others down, and ultimately, away from the compassionate mercy of God.

This scripture speaks to injustice.  In fact, all of Psalm 37 is about God fighting for our justice when everything around us seems so unjust.  The wicked seem to prosper and succeed while all others are barely getting by.  It is exhausting.  

Do you see this happening around you?  
Do you see those in positions of power oppressing others and seemingly "succeeding?"  

Consider the story Jesus told about the seeds falling on the different types of soil (Mark 4).  The people spoken of in this scripture are like the plants that seem to grow healthy and strong.  They have grown for a while and seem to thrive.  But as soon as they experience adversity or struggle, they dry up and wither away.  Or they experience power and think themselves to be the most beautiful, most important flower in the field.  They have no need for a "source" of nourishment.  They depend upon themselves.  With no roots dug deep into the soil.  
Do not envy them.  Their beauty is fleeting.  Their power is compromised.

Be a person whose roots go down deep into the good, rich soil.  The storms will beat down upon you. The wind will ravage your fragile petals.  The wicked may trample you.  Do not fret.
Dig deep.
You will remain.  With your fragile face lifted high toward the mid-summer sun.
You will remain.


Popular posts from this blog

What it means when a narcissistic pastor says, "I love the church"

I ran across this article while going through a rough place in my life.  It had profound meaning for me in dealing with some of the individuals in my life that have narcissistic traits. The article highlights the fact that when a narcissist says, “I love you,” he really means that he loves the way that you (fill in the blank): take care of his needs, focus your energy on him, submit, etc. Individuals that have been in relationships with narcissists often admit to feeling crazy, not recognizing the abuse while it was occurring, and to keeping secrets to cover for his abuse, infidelity, etc.  I wonder if this is what many people are recognizing in the #exevangelical movement.  Because as I was going through this article again, I began to realize that many of the narcissistic traits could be applied to the many pastors and men in church leadership that I have known through the years. Being in church ministry for twelve years, I became proficient at silence and lies to cover the behavior…

To "speak the truth in love" does not mean "reprimand"

"...speaking the truth in love..." Ephesians 4:15
Notice the "dot, dot, dot," before and after that phrase?  But how many times have you heard it as a full sentence?  Speak the Truth in love.  As a full sentence, it loses all context.  And how often is this phrase used as an excuse to reprimand another "in love" and tell them about their multitude of sins?
The New Living Translation has a completely different take on this phrase.  It states, "we will hold to the truth in love."  Now, that changes it a bit, doesn't it?  That makes the action about me and not about me acting on another.  
In context, Ephesians 4 is talking about the Body of Christ and how we must work to grow up and mature in the Lord.  "Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe..."  The work is for each of us to grow up and cling to the Lord's love.  
And what Truth are we clinging to?  It is the truth that we are d…

I visited a Mosque. And went to church.

Today, our local International Rescue Committee organization hosted a solidarity event at the Islamic Society of Wichita while their members were gathering for Friday prayers.  We stood outside, held signs, and let them know that we are with them.  That we are forthem.

But before the event I met my new friend, Ratna, for a tour and some lunch in the well-worn gym.  I was running a little early so I sat by myself on the concrete fountain in front of the building.
It was a beautiful day.  The sun was warming me.  I could smell the food cooking.  A suburban in the parking lot said, "Girl Scout Cookies For Sale!" written in white shoe polish on the dark windows.

Pretty soon, Ratna pulled up in her minivan, tagged along behind by her 5-year-old son with his bright blue iPad and headphones.  He was watching a Pokemon cartoon and was humming along to the songs.  Skipping as he went.  Ratna smiled, hugged me, and led me inside for a tour of their worship space.

It was a beautiful b…