Nasty people and success

Just wanted someone to explain something to me that I am confused about.

The bible says that good people will be blessed and have good lives, so why does it seem that nasty people are succeeding while good people are not?

I know someone who has become successful despite the way they bully and mock others. And even is appearing as if they are a great nice person to others which is just not true. Whiel the person they tormented is suffering.

What does the Bible say about this?


  • I still find it difficult when I see really horrible people then remember that God loves them too! It baffles me! But until this life is over, God is not holding any grudges or excluding anyone. He wishes that we would all return to him.

    Obstacles Christians face could be their tests in this life. Just like the devil striked Job's life (read the book of Job) and messed up everything. EVERYTHING! But he remained faithful.

    Of course we wish we could have good, peaceful earthly lives. And some of us do. God doesn't allow you to suffer beyond what he knows you can handle.
  • edited July 2016
    Luke 16:8 (NKJV)
    So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

    That verse in Luke above may answer your question but I can't comment how related it is. Perhaps the sons of this world are successful because they always flatter their neighbour. Pope Shenouda said Satan is ready to give you anything if you give him your soul.

    Our true success is being faithful over our talents not our unrealistic dreams. We don't achieve as much as the world because they receive their portion in this life. It is God who has given them their abilities as it written in the psalms whose belly you fill with your hidden treasure. David the prophet was wealthy but not as wealthy as some other people or kings. Seems strange since He is a King. That is how I read it in the psalms anyway. He said in psalm 4 gladness has filled my heart more than how their grain and wine increased. Also psalm 73 addresses this though not written by David but by Asaph.

    However we have a God who tells us nothing is impossible with Him. Therefore He can grant us all success if we seek first the kingdom. He can even heal the lame
    But God knows what is good for us and what will help us focus on the heavenly rewards. He knew our path before we were born. It was His plan to heal some and not heal others. The one who is not healed is not so because he has sinned but God has a role for everyone in their life and we don't know that role from what talents or disabilities we had in the start. But for those who God planned to heal they will never receive that healing if they are not faithful over their talents for God to entrust them with more in the world for the Glory of His Name. We have to accept God's will. St Paul was given a thorn in the flesh that he may not become too proud. The children of God may have to earn their success but to the ungodly I think it is easier. How do you know you are good. As for me I am not good. Joseph and Job were good but even they only had a season for success. I now pray that I am chastened by the Lord but not given over to death that is despair. If we receive no chastening we are not children of God.

  • We become light in glorification of Jesus Christ. Our goal is to maintain our salvation least we lose it by sin.
    We glorify Christ when we obey Him as it is a reflection of Him in our life. We also honour Him in His glory by placing value in our works for His sake.

    Glory and Honour, Honour and Glory..

    We are against the sin of pride here and it is very difficult to deal with without getting involved in the sin as well.

  • Hard work will often lead to success. This is independent of being of being good or bad. This is free will. 

    Those who are good, you can be sure God protects. That does not mean you will automatically be granted success. All the opposite, He will grant us success only if He sees this will not destroy us in our greediness for more success. "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you". Seeking the kingdom first, means that I care only for my eternal salvation and would not care for anything else that may hinder that objective. Focus on that, for the rest, who cares? 
  • edited July 2016
    I thought I have to prove that God can make me succeed to an unbelieving world but maybe that is not true.
    If they convert for that reason they don't have the belief God is seeking as there will be no Cross to follow which Paul calls foolishness to the world.
    God does not seek people who follow Him just out of fear. The only proof they love Him is if they follow Him wherever He goes. In the parable of the sower the people represented by the stony ground only believed for a while but when tribulation came they did not struggle along the narrow path. Paul says we ought not to see godliness as a means of gain but God is seeking godliness with contentment
    That is there is no promise of earthly prosperity. Paul says we are Sown in weakness raised in power. God wants us to find our happiness in Him and leave it to Him to worry about our needs and what is good for us. All our attention should be focused on His righteousness and when there is spare time and when we have sought God too much and been satisfied and are bored focus on other things. The disciples left everything to follow Christ. Paul says not many noble are called but God has chosen the foolish things to put to shame the wise. He chose fishermen and a tax collector. The question is can God use us as He used them ? Are the stories of pope kyrillos miracles true and all the synaxarium ? If so can we be like them ?If he can't use us like them how will the worldly wise be put to shame. We may need to prove God can help us achieve regular things not miracles. Of course I am not asking do we need to perform great miracles individually but collectively as a church atleast small ones
  • The nasty people succeed because they wear pride as a coat (something on the outside) as in the description of the Leviathan in Job 41:15-16
      His rows of scales are his pride, Shut up tightly as with a seal; One is so near another That no air can come between them. This Leviathan torments those around him by what is precious to him. He sees himself as a king and one that makes those around him subject to him. He does it with fear. the fear of not having what he has and that being pride. He shows it by success but the success is on the outside coming from the fear that is in the inside.
     Job 41: 33-34  On earth there is nothing like him, Which is made without fear. 34 He beholds every high thing; He is King over all the children of pride."

       He brings up the children of pride and they look to him. Children are always learning and are greatly affected by those around them been their peers. At some stage one might ask, do I do what everyone else does? My needs are independent. I am searching for something more valuable in which fear is not the reason for doing what I do, or being what I am.

       In this day and age, pride has become acceptable and a social norm and the feeling of missing out (fear) has also become acceptable and our consciences are not as well respected or reflected. The boundaries have increasingly become blurred between the fear of God (obeying Jesus' commandment to love) and the fears of this world, in which we have the ruler of this world, who has nothing in our Lord Jesus Christ.

       If we glorify our Christ by reflecting Him in society, we are truly independent and free from the slavery of the enemy which is sin. Free will is our own but God's will is love. The ruler of this world sets stumbling blocks in the way of God's love and if someone asks for help, it means first, you help them as a glorification to God. This is strength that we obtain through our Lord Jesus Christ. Once we get the strength then we are able to show love. It is a state where fear has become the stumbling block to love. Sometimes we need to deal with fear directly as in:

                Matthew 16: 21-23     21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
      22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him saying, Far be it from you Lord; this shall not happen to you!"
      23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me Satan! You are an offence to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of man."

        Here Jesus told His disciples what was going to happen to Him. There was not going to be a stumbling block that stopped the fulfilment of the scriptures. Jesus was doing exactly what He was supposed to do. When Peter said that it should not happen to Him, satan had given Peter fear. Jesus in turn rebuked the spirit of Satan's fear and notice Jesus put this spirit behind Him because He was going forward. We likewise go forward with God and put the fears of man behind us.

      Look at your peers needadvice and see that they may be full of pride and this is on the outside, but on the inside fear. Forgive them first and I know it is hard because unlike them showing you hate, which is easier to deal with because everyone can see it and you can turn the other cheek, but fear you need to express your needs and the chief one with our peers is respect.
      I am working with someone who is full of fear he would go into absolute rages at anything going wrong. I started there speaking very little and always calm. When he came to me very angrily , I would say to him, in a voice that was very clear, not shouting and slowly and look him seriously in the eyes, You respect me please. He would carry on with what he was saying and I would repeat it. I made my position very clear and in the end he would go. This went for about four times and I said the same thing even when he would start throwing things. Eventually he got the message that what I wanted was respect and talks nicely, but I do see fear there still. God forgive him.. This is a social norm  and it is what should be expected from those around you.

       I pray our Lord Jesus Christ gives you peace need advice.

      PS:     I see pride everywhere in everything and I know it doesn't ask for help and is not helping and this is against the Christian ethic.
                   I pray for this world in the false dignity of pride.


  • Well, I'm still trying to understand Christianity, as a convert... recently I've been backstabbed by one of the few people I still trusted in my family (they're all non religious by the way, and dislike religion)... although the person wasn't even trustworthy, maybe I was just trying to convince myself I could trust someone of my own blood...

    I know we have to forgive enemies, etc, etc, but when you don't have a single person to trust in your own family, even less a church community to go, it is hard to understand some teachings practically, and it is hard to pray agpeya, saying salms with content like 'God lifts me up in the end, after the storm', or whatever, when one's life is the opposite and it seems the snow ball is just going down the hill...

    I think it is easy to preach Christianity when life has problems, but the person still has some kind of safe port, but when your whole life has ALWAYS been surrounded by problems from all sides, you're basically a walking talking post traumatic stress disorder and hardly ever had a few moments to get to the surface and take a breath, it is not the same. Either we say "maran athá" 24 hours a day or we wish we were already dead, basically. 
  • edited July 2016
    I may have interpret the below verse wrongly. Perhaps Jesus meant we should be wiser like them. Anyway our beliefs will not hinder people from helping us and I don't mean to disrespect the works of non Christians. Some of them also work hard and the bible tells us to honor all people.
    Actually they may not flatter people that may produce the opposite effect but we should be nice to people if we want to get help which means not claiming to be worthy to preach to them because it is not our job to convert people but Gods job

    Luke 16:8 (NKJV)
    So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
  • We really shouldn't try to explain why

    2. When the same Abba Anthony thought about the depth of the judgments of God, he asked, "Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper and why are the just in need?" He heard a voice answering him, "Anthony, keep your attention on yourself; these things are according to the judgment of God, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.' 

  • God bless you Mike. I have Abba Anthony icon on my wall. It is good to keep attention to ourselves.

    SJC I pray you will be ok my friend. May God be with you.

  • 1 Corin this 13 :4
    Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself.
  • edited September 2016
    Could this verse be relevant ?

    1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God
  • Yes Mike it is true, do not judge for Jesus Christ came to save us and the enermy as well. If we have the enermy who is in darkness in us, then confess the sin.
    Jesus is talking about the condemnation of judging that offers no redemption because even our enemies need to be brought into the light that they may see their error.
    Those who are in darkness use excuses like everyones doing it and if for our conscience we want yes to mean yes and no to mean no, then to keep our integrity we judge the situation and not the person. So the situation where everyone's doing it, simply don't do it.
    But sin is personal and perceived as such, so to even talk about it can be taken personally with offense then protected with pride and the person taken further from the path and still remain in darkness.

    I was hoping to give a sermon on this Sundays Gospel to add to Abounas. Even though I do normally the Catholicon I am not good at putting forth my voice to what is the churches views. Even I'm worried about being judged. This Sundays Gospel is about Jesus reading from Isiah in the Synagogue. The thoughts that came to my mind where firstly that the Synagogue is a place where the jews discussed the hidden meanings of the Torah and prophesies. It is what God revealed to them. The situation is an intimate situation. Intimacy is truth and vulnerability, so very sensitive.
    Jesus is handed a book and He opens it and reads a prophesy from Isiah concernin Himself:
    "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
    Because He has anointed Me
    To preach to the poor,
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
    To proclaim liberty to the captives
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
    To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
    And said: " Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
    They immediately responded by making Him to be just like everyone else by asking the question; "Is this not Joseph's son?"
    Then He spoke of the prophets who went to the one widow and the one leper when there were many
    Those who were in the Synagogue didn't understand that God loved all and that the ones He was talking to considered themselves not to be sick because they were following the law.
    The law is not perfect and cannot be perfected as love can be perfected.
    They became jealous because jealousy is the fear of not being perfect. Jealous of the law. Jealous to who they were but God loved all His creation and was jealous of it for He truly did possess it.
    So the Jews did take on this perfection of love and could not love thy enermy
    Love sets us free and gives liberty of free will but in obeying the Sabbath they thought they were free from responsibility but Jesus healed on the Sabbath as love is not confined to a perticuler day.

    The enermy is sin Mike not the person. The sin is darkness and makes one blind and love is light so we see and understand and Jesus is the light in His Gospel that we spread because He loved us first. We are all the same in His eyes first but separated by what is in the heart.

  • Thanks Joshua :) I wonder if one should keep trying to keep the less weightier laws if he is trying to keep the weightier matters of the law which are justice mercy and faith
    Or should he fulfill the weightier matters first or try both at the same time if we try both at the same time will we neglect the weightier matters if trying to keep the smaller laws consumes most of ones thinking not saying it does
  • Law says what is right and wrong and so does our conscience. Through God love creates a sensitive conscience. If we take the law which God gave Moses in the ten commandments we have Jesus turn them into love. For the first five commandments He simplified them by saying Love God with all your heart ,mind and soul and for the second five He said love your neighbour as yourself.
      If we take the works of the Holy Spirit, it is to do good. The law is not an effective way of fulfilling what is good as love is and Gods Spirit has been denied an effective way of doing good by the law, and the spirit is confined and doesn't reach out to everyone.

       I wanted to make a point concerning intimacy in my last post. It is been truthful and been vulnerable and there are three intimacies we have in the church and they are when we pray and confess and when we take communion. They are close and closeness is love. God came and showed us love in the form of flesh in Jesus Christ and the Jews didn't see this closeness as love because the means to  perfection hung on the law for them. That is why they tried to make Him the same as themselves so He would be confined to the law to be perfected by the law. He broke the law in the Sabbath as it was liberty and to be free is love and this was Gods will that we ourselves would free ourselves of sin by repentance. The more we love God the more we free ourselves of sin. Are we tempted to be like everyone else? Definitely. Fighting temptation takes a sensitive conscience and like Saint George whom while in prison was tempted by a woman but refused her  because his love was strong in our Lord. The goodness in the Holy Spirit is strongest in love not the law.

       I know you worry Mike but in those whom find it very hard to change rely heavily on God's mercy and their faith is required more than their works because they struggle with works. Try to do the works though even if it seems fruitless or pointless and pray for Gods mercy. Pray have pity our my poor spirit and help me.  Try not to justify yourself before men  for they are weak and want everyone to be the same and say everyone's doing it and worse, force everyone to do it or manipulate everyone to do it.  .  .
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