free will…..friend or foe?

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I can’t tell you how many times the kids in our program

ask a question like,

‘if God didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat from that tree,

why did he put it there in the first place?’   

If we are honest, we’ve asked ourselves that very same question.  Oh, we might phrase it a bit differently, we might ask that age-old question, ‘why do bad things happen….’  or ‘why didn’t God stop that from happening….’, but the question is the same – does God set us up for failure?

Sometimes I like to dream about the world before the ‘fall’.  I think that I would like to live there, but in reality, how can I expect others  never to be selfish, unkind, hurtful and cruel when I can’t  do that – even for a day.  The ‘freedom’ that I have in the gift of free will allows me to choose….others first or myself first…..

I think about the way parents raise children.  There are two ways to get your children to obey you.  One is through fear, the other through love.  If I am the type of parent who demands that my children obey me or else,  I would need to use threats and punishments.  Certainly my children would obey me, because they would fear the consequences.  I would have little ‘robot’ children who are too scared to disobey, but would I have their love?

The other way is much riskier…the other way is through love.  I would love my children enough to allow them the choice to obey or not (stay or leave).  I would teach them, guide them,  and yes, explain the consequences of making bad choices, but ultimately, they would have the freedom to make the choice. Love would require that I step back, watch and wait.  And then, if they choose to obey it would be a choice based on love rather than fear.   You can see how risky this is!

Fear and love are both strong motivators.

 Perhaps the end action looks the same, but the path to that end is different.

God always chooses the path of love.

 God always takes the risk.

God sits back, watches and waits

We make the choices….sometimes good, sometimes bad

free will…..friend or foe?