Free Will

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It can’t be denied that it’s very hard to believe the existence of God and feel His presence when you are surrounded with life’s everyday harsh realities. You may have lost a loved one. You may have unsettled piles of debts. You may have been torn apart with conflicts with your spouse. You may have been treated unfairly by the company you’ve worked hard for. You may have experienced firsthand the injustices committed by the government officials in your country. You may have suffered directly or indirectly as caused by the corruption of your government. You may have been raped or sexually abused. Your personal list of agonies can go on endlessly. Not to mention the worldwide unresolved ongoing problems of hunger, climate change, AIDS, terrorism, drugs… Not to mention the occurrence of typhoon, tsunami, flood, earthquake in any parts of the globe from time to time…

We try hard to understand why all these are happening and it seems this can’t be stopped anymore. We’re tempted to concede and say, it’s just the way it is. Yes, there are still good people but the bad ones outnumber the kind hearted and compassionate ones. For thousands of years, no person, no system of society or government has been able to totally eradicate of what we call evil plaguing our land. So what’s happening? Let me tell you an answer in a simple, straightforward and condensed manner. In our previous articles, I’ve already addressed the issue on the existence of God. If you want to dig more on proving the premise of God, you may do so but I warn you, you might be lost and it may take you an indefinite time to accomplish what you want to reach and before you realize, your intellect and reasoning will be worn out to the point of your death. On the last minutes of your breathing, it’s almost a guarantee, you feel your life is meaningless, empty and in vain after all… You don’t want that to happen.

Going back to my simple, straightforward and condensed answer. What’s happening is all due to our free will. God created us so we can experience and share His goodness and beauty. Of course, He may prefer not to create us in the first place but He, Himself, felt inexplicably empty when all that He saw was Himself as pure energy billions of years ago. So He made humans out from His source of energy so He can see for Himself how beautiful to express Himself and behold His creations in pride and joy. But the story of creation is just the beginning. He wanted His creatures to love Him back but without being forced. To be loved by us is to respect and care His creatures especially the humans whom we encounter every step we take. This is where free will comes in.

We then realize we have the option to love or hate; to care or disregard; to be kind or be greedy; to be compassionate or disrespect; to have self-control or indulge excessively; to be harmonious or dominate; to forgive or punish; to preserve one’s fellow life or kill… Free will then is the root cause of all that we see undesirable in this world. In this case, no one is to be blamed but us, humans. Even nature’s calamities can be traced back to man’s wrong doings. There’s no such thing as the red devil with two horns or the black man wearing a black cape and hood. They are all just imaginary. Devils, evils, satan, beelzebul or whatever we call the bad guys…are actually us, human beings, ourselves. When we choose to do good, then we have freely loved God. When we choose to do bad or harmful, then we have disobeyed what God wants.

You may ask, why then there’s free will when this is the cause of all our immemorial sufferings? The answer is again simple. Take away free will and we become robots. As father of two sons, myself, I don’t want them to obey me, respect, care and love me because they are programmed to do so. Can you imagine? There’s no joy, no smiles, no laughters, no tears, no embrace and no kiss of tenderness… There’s just no fun. When my sons choose to love me instead of abandoning me, then I would highly appreciate the experience of being loved and its deep beauty. It’s virtually the same with God for all of us.

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