There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 8:14-15, NIV
Can you relate to the author of Ecclesiastes? Do you have up close and personal experience of getting a raw deal? Do you feel like a righteous person watching a wicked person prosper?
I can relate. And I really appreciate that this Scripture is in the Bible.
And I am not one bit surprised some traditions attribute its authorship to the wisest man ever, King Solomon.
Just today, I shared my frustration over the injustice I felt:
I was abandoned. I was cheated on by my ex-wife (with multiple men that she found at bars as she reported to me one evening. When confronted with what she said in that conversation she plays the “I don’t remember talking about more than just the one” card). And because of these choices of hers culminating in a divorce of me (that I did not want at the time), I had to go through a denominational trial to keep my license as a minister and thereby keep my career moving forward. The denominational officials and other pastors had free reign to dig at my character and marriage for a nearly three hour long deposition. It was not a pleasant experience to put it mildly. And if that was not enough, I had the indignity of having her provide sealed testimony in my trial to retain my minister’s license! This was incredibly unjust. And it was infuriating at the time. Honestly, it is still is if I dwell on it.
God saw me through those dark nights, and I changed denominations after successfully defending my license so that I was in a more supportive environment. Even so, it is occasionally angering to know that my ex did not have to go through a trial to keep her LMFT license. It does not seem to matter that she cheated and engaged in emotional abuse of her first husband. It’s very messed up, I think.
I bet many who come here have their own versions of such stories. And it is okay to feel such anger and frustration over the injustice of your situation.
The writer of Ecclesiastes enshrined the reality of such things in the Bible, after all!
That said, I do not envy my ex-wife today. She is still stuck with living with her poor choices and poor character. God has used my situation to bring me out to a more spacious place with many, many blessings (e.g. marrying Mrs. DM and becoming a daddy to one spunky little three year old girl that I adore.)
It does get better, folks.
It may not feel like it now, but it does.
I am living proof.
And I like what we can learn from Ecclesiastes as well in these matters. How I read the second verse is an exhortation to count our blessings and cultivate gratitude for the gifts we do have.
When you are feeling down and caught up in the injustice of the situation, I encourage cultivating the spiritual discipline of gratitude.
What gifts are in your life today from God?
Do you have children? Thank God for their lives and the joys you’ve been given through being their parent.
Do you have good health? Thank God, for such a precious gift, which we so easily take for granted.
Do you have a good job or career? Thank God for such provision and the gifts that come from having meaningful work.
Do you have family support? Thank God for their love and placing you in such a supportive place.
Ultimately, who really cares about the adulterers and adulteresses? They have to answer for their deeds before God. Let’s get busy as faithful spouses counting the riches God has bestowed upon us. Let’s enjoy the day. I assure you. We are rich indeed.