Well I'm not going to debate on the fact that sometimes we do and sometimes we don't, but the question here really is when we do have to make choices, why do we have them?
I think some might say that the choices are actually all predestined, that God already knows what you're going to choose and so on, so it isn't really a choice. Then the question becomes "why was it there in the first place?"
I think we can all agree that if life had no choices, especially the harder ones, then things would be a lot easier. There would be no need to think about which school to go to, what course to take, which person to get together with (for those who actually have a choice in that matter), which job to accept/look for. Life would be a lot easier of at every junction God was there and He'd be pointing a finger in the right direction and saying "go this way", and I reckon there'd also be a lot less sin, given that sin is sometimes a conscious (or otherwise) choice to go against what He instructed us to do. So why have choices at all?
I was led to look at Genesis and the first choice given to Adam. (Non-followers of the Bible please bear with me.) I think the first choice occurred far before the eating of fruit incident. It occurred even before Eve came along. Adam was given a job when we was created and in that job he was given the ability to make decisions on his own.
In other words, he had a choice.
I have the feeling (though the Bible doesn't explicitly state so) that God didn't vet whatever Adam decided to name the animals. I think God just left him to do his job, maybe standing and smiling beside him as he named each one, but never saying anything uch as "are you sure you really want to name this long nosed creature an 'elephant'?"
Similarly, Adam and Eve were given a choice with the fruit and this time we will ask "why didn't God stop them from eating it?"
My thoughts on this? Two strike me in particular:
1) Giving us a choice is God's way of saying "you're old enough to cross the street by yourself - you don't need me to hold your hand, so cross!" and He says it with a smile. In other words, I think He gives us a choice because it's His way of saying that we can make our own decisions, which is totally different from saying that we should do things without His guidance. As a child, my parents letting me cross the street by myself was a HUGE thing. In the same way, how my dad let me drive on my own without supervision the day right after I got my license spoke of how much he believed in me, how much he trusted me. In the same way, I feel that God gives us decisions because He trusts us to make them for ourselves and He believes in us.
2) Obviously choices are not without consequences, and the second thought that comes to me is that if God trusts us with choices and decisions, He also gives us the ability to make a bad decision, and therefore He also expects that we will bear the consequences of our choice, particularly when we make unwise or ungodly ones.
Now don't get me wrong - I don't think that God is so evil as to let us make wrong decisions and then go "haha you made the wrong choice - now you suffer!" It's not like a game show or even a video game, where if you do something wrong you die and it's GAME OVER. He will also see us through and sometimes He lightens the consequences for us because He loves us, though we also have to and should learn the lesson. (People like me have to learn it the hard way :D) Sometimes we don't have to hearths consequences at all, and worse still someone suffers because of what we do and often we don't know and might not even care if others are suffering from what we did.
We also sometimes find ourselves in a choice, not knowing what to do..why does God put us in that kind of situation?
I'll leave that for the next tea time :)
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