Why does God wait to punish or reward people for good or bad in their next life?
Sometimes, it appears to us that people doing illegal and anti-social acts enjoy their life and they are not punished or controlled by God. Actually such persons receive their punishment without other people knowing it. Our knowledge is limited to the legal methods of punishment, being put in jail, or being fined by a judge. The methods of God for rewards and punishment are different. They are all automatic and built in nature and God’s Divine System.
Having done something wrong, a person is always worried lest the people find him to be a liar, a cheat, a robber, etc. Therefore, he remains under mental torture all the time. Even with a good house, good food, and all the comforts of life, he cannot have peace or solace. Fear of being exposed haunts him and bothers him for his entire life. This is a much bigger punishment than the one given by legal courts such as paying a fine or going to jail. One may not get exposed publicly, but at least within his close group of friends, people know the truth about him and he lives the life like that, even though he is not physically in jail. Because of his anti-social or immoral behaviour, he remains under mental imprisonment.
To explain the self-inflicted punishment one gives to himself or herself, the mention of an actual happening will be helpful. Friends of a very high Indian government officer thought he was enjoying his life as best as anyone could. He got huge bribes from people and spent the money drinking, dancing, and sleeping with women. He ignored his wife and children. The wife, having to fail to restrain him from women and wine, reported the matter to the government regarding his taking of bribes from the people. When the government charged him, his illegal and immoral crimes became public. He was so scared to face his friends, that he jumped from his office window to his death.
People doing evil acts punish themselves more severely than a government can. Some, as stated above, even commit suicide and lose the gift of life given by God. Furthermore, unless one gives up evil acts from his mind, these bad thoughts go with him to his next life and they punish him there too. The punishment that people receive here or after their death is not given by God. We get rewarded of punished ourselves as a matter of the consequences of our doings. If you don’t watch your feet and stumble on a rock, it is not the fault of the rock nor of God. When a driver takes his mind away from the wheel and meets with an accident, it is not the government which is punishing him; he has invited punishment himself.
Our immoral and antisocial acts committed under lust, anger, greed, etc., lead us on the wrong path. As a result, we suffer from physical and mental torture.