St. Mary Catholic Community

Browsing What the Faith: A Layperson's view of our church

Free Will - Our Greatest Gift

Feb 7, 2019

When God created us, He wanted us to love Him freely and without any force or coercion from Him. To achieve this, He gave us all free will.  Free will means we are able to think for ourselves, to make decisions on our own and ultimately to live with the consequences.  This is an enormous gift with an awful lot of wiggle room.  Had humans not been given free will, we would all still be naked and living in Eden.  Which, depending on the type of day I’ve had, doesn’t sound too bad….

However, free will has really taken on two sides. It seems to be the main ingredient in the constant battle between good and evil.  There are people who have chosen to love God, to listen, and obey his commandments regardless of what is said or done to them.  Mother Theresa, Maximillian Kolbe, Saint John Paul ll are all examples of people who love the Lord unconditionally.  Then there are those that decide they do not need God, His love, or His commandments.  Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and most recently Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax who proposed and supported post-term infanticide as an abortion option, are all examples of people who show contempt for Gods commandments.  All of these people have completely disregarded any influence from God and consider themselves to be god-like in the decision of who lives and who does not.

Think of it like this: traffic laws are put in place to protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.  If one of these considers themselves above the law, the result can be fatal.  A driver decides he does not need to stop at the red light because he is in a hurry and the law is a nuisance and should not apply to him.  When he runs over the pedestrian crossing the street, the driver’s reaction is that the pedestrian should have been watching him rather than obeying the “walk” signal.  The driver then finds out in court that the laws really do apply to him and there are consequences to breaking them. At this point it is too late to take back what he did; the pedestrian was killed because of the driver’s selfishness.  When humans decide they are more important than God’s commandments, the results are also fatal.  Souls are put in danger when God is thrust aside for individual desires.  These decisions may not physically kill the perpetrator; it will kill their souls with the ultimate price of living eternally without God and His mercy.

Free will is a gift to handle carefully and with respect. Decisions made now, can affect lives long into the future.  It is a gift that keeps giving.  Even if bad choices are made, free will allows for reconciliation and repentance.  It gives us the freedom to seek new ways of living, make different decisions, and turn bad to good. 

Exercise your free will and thank God for giving you the ability to choose Him and His commandments. Beg His forgiveness when you fail, and revel in His mercy when you repent.  Lent is coming – how will you use your free will to better serve God and His commandments?

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