He does not forget the cry of the afflicted~ Psalm 9:12 NASB
A good-deed-gone-bad is my personal definition for any situation or scenario where a well-intentioned individual attempts, out of the goodness of their heart, to help or bless another individual. In the course of the good deed, the efforts of the person helping somehow get turned around and the person doing the blessing becomes the bad guy and the object of vicious gossip.
The act in question nearly always involves an extraordinary level of expense and/or personal sacrifice on the part of the person being helpful. Typically in these situations, the innocent victim is left feeling baffled by the gossip and by the speed at which the deed went bad. They are inevitably left spiritually shell-shocked, emotionally wounded and regretful that they bothered involving themselves in the situation at all.
I have had a long run of good deeds that have gone terribly bad over the last few years. I won’t waste your time and bore you with a bunch of depressing details. Suffice it to say that it’s all been the classic good-deed-gone-bad kind of stuff and it’s all ended in the classic good-deed-gone-bad manner.
A conversation the other day revealed yet another good-deed-gone-bad. This one came out of the blue and was so ridiculous and unanticipated it nearly knocked me over. I spent the better the part of the night stewing in self-blame. I chastised myself for not having the foresight to see it coming or wisdom to head it off. By morning self-blame morphed into self-pity and blaming God. By mid-morning I was fuming about this particular incident as well as all the others just like it that have occurred in recent years.
Eventually, my anger towards God mellowed into something more like a weepy rant. Following are a few of the highlights…
I thought I was doing what you wanted me to do…
Why would you tell me to do something you KNEW would end badly?
I was really trying to do the right thing!
How come I’m ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS the bad guy?
I went out of my way to BLESS those STUPID PEOPLE!
I wish you understood how hard this is….
Evidently at this point in the conversation God had heard enough. Some hard truths flooded into my mind and I was reminded of a few things. First of all, it occurred to me that if there is anyone anywhere who could possibly understand how I was feeling at that moment, it was God.
God is pretty much the poster child for going out of His way to bless stupid people. Precious few humans even acknowledge His existence, and fewer bother to thank Him or praise for His efforts. Silly humans do senseless, reckless stuff all the time, refuse to own up to their actions; then they blame God for the outcome of their choices. He never fails to do the right thing and for the most part all he gets from an ungrateful human race is a bunch of grumbling. He’s omniscient so He knows exactly how things are going to turn out in the end. Yet, still He continues to bless the undeserving and ungrateful.
As I considered all this, I recalled one of my favorite quotes:
When God wants something done, he has to find someone to do it. If he wants a child taught, a message brought, a sermon preached, a wanderer found, a sorrowing one comforted, a sick one healed, he has to find some instrument to do his work~ William Barkley
As I mulled this over I was hit by the cleverness of the enemy’s schemes. A good-deed-gone-bad works out to his benefit in many ways. These incidents inevitably plant seeds of hurt and anger in the hearts of those who are inclined to help others. If left unchecked, those seeds will mature into suspicion and bitterness. The person who was inspired to be a blessing is no longer inclined to bless.
When that happens, everyone suffers because the message of God’s love and care for the human race is stopped in its tracks. The people He has chosen to deliver that message are too tired and too discouraged to continue doing what they have been called to do.
Have you been the victim of a-good-deed-gone-bad? Don’t give up and don’t despair.
God gets it. He’s been there; He knows exactly how you feel. He loves your willingness to sacrifice on his behalf and He is blessed by your readiness to act as His instrument. He knows your deeds and He has blessings in store for those who refuse to give into circumstances.
I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first~ Revelation 2:19