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To Choose or Not to Choose

In just the first three chapters of the Bible we go from the creation of humanity to the first recorded sin. It doesn’t take long to come face to face with the idea of free will. God put Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and gave them the power to choose.

Sometimes we describe children as going through the “terrible two’s.” Child psychologists describe this phase of life as the beginning of oppositional behavior. The truth is that little children about this age are just discovering what all the rest of us already know - - we all want to exercise the power to choose for ourselves what we do.

Here’s a question: What does it mean that we have been made in the image of God? Genesis 1:26 cannot merely refer to appearance. It must also include the ability to reason and to make choices based on desires or consequences. God made us thinking, choosing beings, and said it was good. Incredible as it sounds, God has given the same power to us as he did to Adam and Eve; we have been given the power to choose between right and wrong.

Is it good that we can choose? Everything God made was good, so, yes. However, while each of us will usually agree that it is good that WE have the right to choose we may not like the fact that OTHERS also have that right. But we are often very inconsistent with our own choices; those who lie do not like being lied to, those who steal hate being stolen from, those who kill do not want to be killed.

Is it hypocritical that people who were themselves rebellious toward their own parents teach obedience to their children? No. It means they have grown up. They have matured and chosen to embrace values that they themselves also once chose to reject “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1Cor. 13:11)

God made us free to choose. That must also include the freedom to choose what is wrong. God did not make us puppets. He gave us free will. Some will choose to do terrible things. Some will do wonderful things. Hopefully many will choose this -- “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” (Rom 6:22)

-Tim Orbison


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