Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Gift of Free Will

If God loves me so much and is so powerful, then why does bad stuff keep happening to me? This is a question that I have been asked countless times by both adults and young people. I have asked myself this question on more than one occasion.

Because the current young generation is a generation in pain, they are asking questions like this more than ever. There are no easy answers to these hard questions, but one answer has to do with the free will that God has chosen to give people. Though God is indeed all powerful and could so control our lives that we would be free from all pain, that would render us mere robots or puppets. God loves us too much to give us such empty and meaningless lives. So He has chosen to give us free will as an expression of His love for us.

Unfortunately, our free will has been deeply tainted by our fall into sin. Much of the time when we think we are exercising our “free will” we are actually acting as slaves to our sin. This slavery to sin causes part of the pain we experience in our lives. Pain is often the natural consequence of our bad choices. Free will has a price, for with control comes responsibility. When we trust Christ as our Savior, we are freed from the trap of sin and receive the Holy Spirit to help us make better choices and use our free will as God intended it.

Sadly, even when we trust Christ and are freed from the grip of our own sin, we are still subject to the poor choices that others make who are still in slavery to their own sin. This means that we also experience pain when others make bad choices and their consequences spill over into our own lives.

If you think this idea through completely, you have no choice but to conclude that though God could free us from all the pain of life, that would be inconsistent with His gift of free will. So one reason life can be painful is because God has given mankind the ability to make choices and mankind has not used that ability very well.

The next time something bad happens, instead of getting angry at God, take a step back and thank Him for giving you, and those around you, the gift of free will. Then ask Him to help you, and those around you, use that free will in a way that helps instead of hurts.

Dr. T

No comments:

Post a Comment