Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1
I like the idea of “Two Measures Foolish” especially as it comes to sharing what I am writing about in this article. For this is a topic that depending on where you are coming from many would say it is foolishness to either share or that the perspective at which I am going to share is foolish.
Because this idea of God being good in the face of all the evil and maleficent behavior, we see daily seems foolish to the person who does not put their faith in God.
Sharing my understanding of God and my relationship with Him has so very much shifted as I grow older and my life experiences have shown me how much I don’t know and how “foolish” I am in light of an ever-present, ever knowing and all-powerful deity.
I pray that my heart and mind are humble as I share my thoughts on how my free will and the evil intents of my heart brought me to an understanding that God is good in all that He does, and how this is displayed through His Sovereignty, Omnipotence, and Grace upon us all.
I would like to start by defining my understanding of some key points, so the reader may understand what perspective I am coming from and be able to have a common ground as to my conclusions and beliefs for myself.
I will define ‘Free Will’, ‘Evil Intent of My Heart’, ‘Sovereignty’, ‘Omnipotence’, and ‘Grace’.
Let’s start with Free Will.
As I unravel these concepts, I am going to abstain from dictionary definitions and share instead from my understanding of all these terms, which admittedly so have most likely come from Webster or Oxford, etc.
Some may say that my will to choose freely is limited by my social, economic and genetic dispositions. And in most ways, I would agree especially to my genetic traits. Because I don’t believe in the adage that “I can do anything I set my mind to doing”.
I think that is a “Crock” and is damaging to the 5-foot-tall boy with no coordination and believes He can be the next NBA star. Or for the Girl with less than average IQ who wants to be a Brain Surgeon.
But within the limitations of the gifting and talents we bestow lies great latitude and freedom of how we choose to live our lives. And within this freedom also lies the great potential for goodness, complacency, and even evil.
Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1
Evil Intent of My Heart
That leads straight into my second thought of the evil intent of my heart. Many people today and throughout time have with good intention tried to purport this concept that men are good.
I find this concept to be both untrue from my own experience and potentially damning for the man who is seeking to find true meaning in life. I will look to my own experience as a father in explaining this.
As beautiful and as charming and cute as my two daughters were at two years old, left to their own devices quite frankly they could be little demons.
Just watch a group of toddlers at play and without adult supervision, you will see selfishness and narcissism at its peak if you watch long enough.
In my own life, I have seen and know as the apostle Paul says in Romans 7:19 that the good thing I want to do I cannot carry out. I have seen this at times as a Son, Husband, Father, Friend, and Citizen. My thoughts and actions oftentimes don’t match the good desires of my heart.
Instead, I can be selfish, narcissistic, an egomaniac, hateful, vengeful, deceitful and a host of other dark and destructive monstrous traits.
This is not to say goodness does not exist but as I will conclude at the end of this musing I do not see that goodness coming from within the heart of man, but instead from the goodness of an all-powerful and sovereign God, who by His grace can change us and give us a new heart once we come to accept our purpose and submit to our understanding of Him.
What is sovereignty? As to government, A nation can govern or make choices under its authority and power. As we expand upon that idea as it relates to my understanding about God, who I believe to have all sovereignty and authority, it gives Him ultimate power over all creation.
This in itself could be a scary thought especially if it comes from the premise that God is the big guy in the sky who is looking down upon us with judgment and retribution.
Sadly, this is the way that many people look at God. No wonder so many is angry with Him in their own life’s situation. However, if you take the opposite position that God is good and loves us with an all-consuming and unconditional love, what a different perspective and outcome that puts upon our view of life and its meaning.
Honestly, in my life, I have been on both sides of the fence. For many years I was angry with God and thought of him as an evil giant throwing his bolts of lightning at humanity and reveling in our discontent. But one day about 15 years ago I had had a revelation and life-changing experience when I came to understand that God is good and that in his goodness, he allows us to live within the freedom of our choices.
Within those choices lies the potential for good as we submit to God’s love for us. You may ask what my revelation was?
That is a story, maybe even a book for another day. But let’s just say in my own life’s pain, disappointments, neglect, abandonment, and fear I had so many of the same questions that have been common to Man throughout time.
…What is the meaning of this life? Or how could a good God allow such wicked behavior to exist amongst His creation?
Why can’t I see, touch and feel God daily? These and so many other questions, that I must admit may never be fully answered with my finite mind, have become my revelation as I have come to faith and belief that the answers lie in a personal relationship with my Creator and the Creator of all things.
With that thought of an “Entity” that has the power to create and interact with “All Things” brings me to Omnipotence, or ultimate power and authority. WOW, another scary thought if we only define it or try to understand it within the framework of our limited understanding of creation and personal experiences.
Most if not all of us, have seen power and authority both abused within government or family and personal relationships. This might lead us to say that any concept of an omnipotent being in itself is evil!
Coming from the framework of personal experience I too at one time had that same belief and understanding. But reframed in the thought or idea of an omnipotent being who is Pure, Holy, Righteous, and Justified, redefines the character and nature of an all-powerful and all-knowing God.
So how did these concepts and ideas frame my conclusion that ‘My Free Will and Evil intentions of my heart brought me to an understanding that God is good in all He does.’
You can find Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2
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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.
We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?