Proverbs 21:7

The violence done by the wicked will drag them away
because they refuse to do what is right.

Have you ever felt like wicked people win more than the righteous? Man, I know I have. There have just been times when it seems like all the people around me who are doing things in a perverse way are getting a lot further ahead in life than I am. Granted, we all – even the most righteous among us – have our own wickednesses. Still, it seems like some are quite a bit more wicked than us and we have a hard time seeing their success while we’re surrounded by our failures.

I know exactly how you feel. I was there for a long time, and in some ways I still am.

But you know what? Eventually, those who are getting ahead by cheating and bending the rules, etc.; what they do always comes back to pay them. It’s like making a deal with Rumpelstiltskin. You go to him because you want or “need” something right now. But there is going to be a cost, and it isn’t always immediate. Sometimes he waits to come back and take what you owe him at a time that is very inconvenient. Eventually, you will have to pay for what you want.

While it may seem like a faster road to success to go the way of the wicked, in the end it leads to destruction. In the end, you will dragged off to pay for the wickedness you used to get where you are. And it grows and feeds on itself. What started with one small compromise,  grows into a bush of bad decisions. Before you know it you have a hedge of wickedness growing around you, surrounding you on all sides.

The better way to get ahead is to do what is right. Period. Always. It’s almost never easier. It’s almost never faster. It’s very rarely instantly gratifying. But in the end, you will not be punished for all the choices you made to get there. Instead you will reap the rewards of doing right.

And, you will reap the rewards all along the journey too. When you’re using wickedness and foolishness to get ahead, you feel guilt and worry all along the journey. Guilt for the bad decisions you’re making and worry that you might get caught. But when you’re doing things right, every successful step forward is a little victory for you. And because you know you’re getting there the right way, there is joy in the journey.