So great is God’s respect and love for us that He lets us make our own choices. He gives us the freedom to manage our own lives, whether for the better . . . or for the worse. Certainly He could keep us from making those foolish and hurtful decisions that cause destruction to ours and other’s lives, and He sometimes does; but He often doesn’t. So great is His esteem for us, that He will not usually force His will upon us even in the face of our rebellion and disregard for Him. If He were to bar us from making destructive choices, it would essentially be the same as if He had not given us free will in the first place!
It is so sad to see so many people making the wrong choices. We wish we could stop them from ruining their lives and the lives of those they hurt. We ask, “Why did God let them do those bad things?” I have read testimonies that tell of how God does indeed sometimes stop evil people! But not always. I think that this is partly due to the fact that He has given us responsibility for this planet and expects us to “subdue it, and have dominion” over it. We must have the discipline to choose to do what’s right. We must protect the innocent, and enforce laws that hinder wickedness from spreading. Toward that end, He has given us His Word and His Spirit to help us. However, if we choose to misuse that great privilege, it is we who are to blame, we humans.
I also think that He does not always stop evil people because He did not create us to be animal-like, to be harnessed and bridled and caged, but to be –truly– like Him, having the ability to decide our own direction. If He were to take that away from us, we would not be much different from the beasts.
Considering my own life, I am actually struck with wonder by how God has granted me the gift of being able to make my own choices. In the past, I sometimes abused that gift; but, even though He always knew I would, He gave it to me anyways. I was never alone, though. There were probably many dead-ends leading to nowhere good that He protected me from. I believe He held my hand through some of the toughest times to help me get through them. I think that in my life, there has been a beautiful meshing of God’s will and power, and my human will and desires.
I don’t think there is always only one way to do things; I don’t think there is always only one, pre-defined course for our lives which we must stress ourselves out to discover (in this instance, I’m not referring to moral decisions, but to amoral ones — when it comes to moral decisions, we must live under the authority of the Bible). I think God lays out the options, and let’s us decide!
Where should we go on vacation? Maybe to God it doesn’t matter — it could be anywhere we want! What should I wear today? As long as it’s modest, anything I want! What color should we paint our house? What church should we go to? What careers should our children study for? Some of those decisions are not very important, while others are. Though God’s guidance is wonderfully available to us in every sphere of our lives, I believe He leaves many choices up to us.
Can we praise this awesome God together? Let us praise Him for how amazing His respect is toward us! He treats us greater than we deserve. He gives us the freedom, to a great degree, that He Himself enjoys: the freedom to decide one’s own course. And so deep is His love for us, that even when we bring disaster upon ourselves, it is He Who extends His hand of help and compassion. Then He sets us back up on our feet, and let’s us set off again. What a wonderful God we serve and adore!