Something the Christian should never do is gloat over someone getting “what’s coming to them.” We shouldn’t even be in a mindset to think that someone has “something coming to them.” Yes, we know that the wages of sin are death and that those who are saved are going to heaven while those who are not are going to hell. However, we are not in the position to be judging other people and determining what should or should not be “coming to them.” That’s up to God to decide, not us.

After having said all that though, I think it’s like controlling our tongues. Seeing other people get what we think they deserve is something that we all have ingrained in us as children. When we’re taught to behave and not to misbehave we are taught that there are immediate consequences for our negative behavior. As we grow up and become more socialized creatures this pattern of negative consequences for negative behavior and positive consequences for positive behavior is reinforced.

When I was a child and went to public school if there was someone who misbehaved in a class then that individual suffered for that behavior as an individual. However, when I first entered into the military I noticed right away that any individual who didn’t perform to expectations brought down the entire group. I don’t say that the person misbehaved because we don’t see it that way. However, that’s what misbehavior is though, isn’t it? Behaving in a way that doesn’t meet the expected standard of behavior. Something I noticed in the military when someone caused everyone to be punished for their actions was the individual was punished more severely by their peers than they otherwise might have been by the ruling authority. After such “punishment” was dolled out, those who did so would justify their actions by saying, “He got what was coming to him.” If you’ve seen any film about boot camp then you likely know exactly what I’m talking about.

When I left the military I thought that I had left all of that behind me. Indeed, as I entered, once more, into the workforce and begun attending college I saw similarities to the disciplinary methods I saw as a child. Those who didn’t measure up were the ones who typically paid the price for their misdeeds. At least, that was the situation for many years after having left the military.

Even when I worked in “team work” environments there was still the notion that, for the most part, the negative behaviors affected the individuals who performed the behavior directly while the team was indirectly impacted such as when someone scheduled for a specific time was late or didn’t show up. However, as time went on I noticed a shift in management style. Suddenly, instead of addressing issues to individuals ranging from tardiness to dress code violations, e-mails were sent out to entire groups of people telling everyone that their behavior needed to be corrected. The worst element about this type of disciplinary response was the uncertainty it created in those who received it.

If you’re not performing up to expectations I think that you usually know it. However, I’ve come to learn that there are expectations and then there are expectations. A company has an expectation for you and you have one for yourself. You also have one for everyone else because of, reasons. This is where the notion of someone “getting what’s coming to them” is severely flawed.

As Christians, our moral compass needs to be aligned with God’s and one way that we endeavor to align ourselves with God while also looking at the world is by using expressions such as “hate the sin and love the sinner.” In our walk with God, we are to do everything that we can to avoid sinning or even having the appearance of sin in our lives. In the epistle of Jude we read that we are to “save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh” (Jude 1:23 NIV). This is where most people justify hating sin and loving people. The problem with this expression is the same problem we have with everything else. People.

People are imperfect creatures because of sin. Therefore, we can neither love nor hate in the perfect way that God does. Inevitably, when we try and hate the sin we end up taking that sin and applying it to the sinner. We can’t help it and it’s getting harder in our society to steer clear of the mob mentality that justifies treating people poorly because of their behavior. The world we live in is arguably the same as it ever was but our capacity to see what’s going on and who’s doing what has greatly improved.

Therefore, if someone mistreats someone else within the recording distance of a cell phone then there’s a good chance that behavior will be put on display for all to see on the Internet. Internet memes, for example, aren’t just for the Internet and their widespread use gathers widespread acceptance. This, in turn, propagates the idea of someone “getting what’s coming to them.” There are loads of examples out there but one that comes to mind has to do with Karen. I’m sure someone’s going to feel their toes stepped on now and that’s unfortunate. However, if that’s the case then might that mean we’re accepting the idea that people ought to get what’s coming to them?

We need to remember it’s God who judges and God who avenges. We can try and focus on things like hating sin and loving the sinner but I think we’d all be better off getting the love part down first.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.