The Abuse of Free Will

#ThinkingTuesday – Change your thinking; Change your life.

cs-lewis-quote-abuse-of-free-willHave you ever thought about where evil comes from? How is it that there is so much evil in the world? what is really the issue with the world that there is so much wrongdoing from the smallest of villages to huge civilizations, the world is corrupt and overflowing with evil and wrongdoing.

As C.S Lewis rightly said, Evil comes from the abuse of free will.

God has given us free will, that we may serve Him out of will and not fear. When we instead abuse our free will, and choose to do what we please and not what pleases God, the result is inevitably evil.

This is why it is crucial that our will is in line with God’s will.

Free will, combined with the desperately wicked heart of man (Jeremiah 17:9) which thinks evil thoughts can only result in evil on a grand scale. This is what has happened throughout history and is repeating itself in the news today.

We are predisposed to think evil and act evil – it is the survival of the fittest mentality and we will do just about anything to be the fittest.

Matthew 15:19

For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Many times, when people wrong us the instant thought of the heart is to respond with evil and we are unable on our own to stop ourselves from going down the wrong path. We continue in the imaginations of our evil heart and soon enough, we carry out these imaginations and cause harm to our fellow brothers and sisters.

Jeremiah 7:24

But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

The heart first considers evil and must then be subjected to good. If we are able to subject our hearts to the good and perfect will of God then we will be good in our actions as well. We cannot carry out good actions with a wicked heart, because our mouths speak from the abundance of our hearts!

Luke 6:45

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

We must deal with our hearts, because God looks at the heart and not the outwardly appearance. No matter how far we have come in our Christian walk, we must check our hearts everyday.

The heart of man starts out desperately wicked but as we submit our hearts and imaginations to God’s will in the many twisted situations we find ourselves in, we find that we get better at controlling our impulses to do evil, it gets easier not to swear, curse, beat up those who hurt us, revenge those who wrong us etc. Doing evil is not just in the so called “big” sins, like murdering millions or committing adultery. It is also in the little things we let slide by, like not speaking up when the teacher asks for a spare pen or eraser during an exam, because the person who needs it is always mean to us or refusing to share our packet of gum with the other kids, or constantly making fun of people who have hearing aids, braces or glasses. It could even be in hiding food or cooking equipment from others or refusing to share a printer when it’s the deadline for an essay submission.

We never know how little things could ruin someone’s life. You could refuse to share your printer with someone and because of that they miss the deadline, fail that essay and lose their scholarship and so have to drop out of school. The funny thing is we would never consider not sharing a printer as evil, but in the long run, not doing just that little good thing could have far reaching consequences that we have to answer for at judgment.

We will be surprised at the things that take people to hell. It won’t be in the glaringly big things, but in the little wrong things that we let slide by continuously each day.

To deal with evil impulses, we must submit our heart to God and ask Him to guide us. It is not every time that we must seemingly do something good, sometimes God may guide us away from doing something that seems good to us simply because it is not His will for us but most times, God will lead us to do something for someone when it greatly inconveniences us and it is these little tests of faith that help us deal with the evil in our hearts.

Brethren, be thoughtful in all things, when we feel led to do some little good for a stranger and our selfish hearts don’t want to, let’s remember that the abuse of our free will can lead to far reaching evil. Even David never imagined that sleeping with Bathsheba would lead him to kill his dear friend Uriah, lose his unborn child and further lead to a curse being placed on his family “the sword will not depart from this household” (2 Samuel 12:9-12). God isn’t coming down, to force you to do good to others, you have to use your will to choose to do good. God works through people whose will is in line with His heart.

Let’s think about this today, particularly in the way we think about evil.

Evil is not always outright in appearance, it happens whenever we abuse our free will with inconsiderate decisions, using our free will to dishonour God in even the smallest actions.

Grace & Peace!

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