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Truths of the Catholic Church series

Free Will

Why do we have Free will?

Why do we have a physical body and feelings?


Letís put 'sin' in a different format than simply being an offense against God (although it is an offense). Think of sin as an act which puts distance between us and God. Every sin is one step further away from God.

If we were to have the same closeness of relationship with God, as Jesus did, there would be zero distance between us and God. And there would be no sin, no offense against God, no disharmony, only the fullness of Gods love and the wholeness of unity which Jesus prayed about in John 17.

In reality, there is distance between each person and God. And God did not create the distance - we did and we do.

Each time we act in a manner which moves us away from God, we call that act a 'sin'. And, since God does not force or cause us to act in this manner, that act of separation was freely chosen by us. If you are forced (lack of free will) to act in this manner, it is not a sin; it is not an act of separation between you and God.

Maybe we don't always think about the ramifications of our acts, but we, of our own free will, perform the act(s) which puts distance between us and God.

Next, think of hell, not in terms of lakes of fire, but in our not being with God - the greatest amount of distance from God, possible. So much distance, that we can no longer be considered Ďwith Godí (although God is always with us).

The question becomes, did God push us away and send us to hell or did we leave God and place ourselves in hell. God is always calling us to Him. And, think about how terrible and lonely we feel when we donít feel the presence of God in our lives. It would have to feel like being in a lake of fire, to feel that way for all eternity.

In answer to the first question as to why God gives us free will. It is because God is always calling us to Him and His love. True love (our response to Godís call) can only be freely given, never forced.

To the second question, why do we have a physical body and feelings? If we only had one option to which to give our love, it would not be a true act of free will. By our physical being, we experience other desires.

When we have the freedom to choose between the things people love: money, power, and all of our other desires and we chose to respond to Godís love over all other choices, as Jesus did in Mt 4:1-11, then we are freely responding to God. Nobody is forcing us, God is not the Ďonlyí choice and our relationship with God becomes our choice.

 Free will.


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