Ever noticed that sometimes is seems harder to do what is right and easier to do what is wrong? There is a popular breakdown of this fact called “Bad is Easy, Good is Hard” (author unknown; various versions are on the web) that sums up the point well:
Bad is Easy, Good is Hard.
Losing is easy. Winning is hard.
Talking is easy. Listening is hard.
Watching TV is easy. Reading is hard.
Giving advice is easy. Taking advice is hard.
Flab is easy. Muscle is hard.
Stop is easy. Go is hard.
Dirty is easy. Clean is hard.
Take is easy. Give is hard.
Dream is easy. Think is hard.
Lying is easy. Truth is hard.
Sleeping is easy. Waking is hard.
Holding a grudge is easy. Forgiving is hard.
Telling a secret is easy. Keeping a secret is hard.
Play is easy. Work is hard.
Falling is easy. Getting up is hard.
Spending is easy. Saving is hard.
Eating is easy. Dieting is hard.
Doubt is easy. Faith is hard.
Criticizing is easy. Taking criticism is hard.
Secrecy is easy. Confession is hard.
Pride is easy. Humility is hard.
Excusing oneself is easy. Excusing others is hard
Borrowing is easy. Paying back is hard.
Immorality is easy. Chastity is hard.
Argument is easy. Negotiation is hard.
Going along is easy. Walking alone is hard.
Dumb is easy. Smart is hard.
Cowardice is easy. Bravery is hard.
Messy is easy. Neat is hard.
War is easy. Peace is hard.
Sarcasm is easy. Sincerity is hard.
An F is easy. An A is hard.
Growing weeds is easy. Growing flowers is hard.
Can’t do is easy. Can do is hard.
Feasting is easy. Fasting is hard.
Talking about God is easy. Following God is hard.
One of the many reasons why some people give up on the gospel is because it is hard. After Jesus gave his wondrous “bread of life” discourse the scriptures record: “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard [this], said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? … From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:60, 66).
The irony of all of this, is that although it is harder to follow the gospel than to not follow it, it is easier—much easier—in the long run. Yes, it is hard to save your money, but is makes life easier in the long run. Yes, it is difficult to study hard and get good grades, but it makes life easier in the long run. Yes, it is hard to be honest, but it makes life easier. Perhaps this is why Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11: 29-30). Conversely, sin is easy—very easy. Who can’t do it? We could all be pro’s if we wanted to. Cheating on tests or assignments is easy, but overcoming the effects of a lifetime without much knowledge is hard. Being immoral is easy, but it makes life so much more difficult over time. Viewing pornography is easy, but overcoming its destructive effects and kicking its addiction makes life hard.
Up front, sin is easy. Righteousness is hard.
However in the long run…
Sin makes life harder. Righteousness makes life easier.