Why did God give us free will?

+10 votes
asked Apr 20, 2015 in Culture & Society by SadyeTjalkab (260 points)
I’ve been reading a lot in the news about the Syrian refugee crisis (as I’m sure everyone has), and, all political debates aside, it’s made me profoundly sad. When you see photos of people who have been forced to abandon everything, to flee for their lives, only to have their boat sink and their family drown…it’s just so tragic. Those poor refugees! I know all war is horrendous, but this one seems to be perpetrated by people who are just so evil. It’s all made me start questioning a lot of things about life, God and why are we here? Why did God give us free will if he knew that people would do evil things? I just don’t understand.

1 Answer

+14 votes
answered Jul 11, 2015 by BuckRettig72 (360 points)

You’re right; it is terrible to see what has been happening over in Europe with the refugee crisis. And it’s natural to wonder at times like this about things like why did God give us free will. I’ve always found that when I have questions about God I can find answers in the Bible. After all, the Bible was written by God, so where else could you find satisfying answers to questions about God?

First of all, the Bible teaches that humans were given free will as a loving gift.

Genesis 1:26 says that God made humans in his “image” or likeness. When you look at animals, they just act on instinct. They don’t reason and make decisions for themselves – they just migrate, fly south for the winter, etc. God could have created humans to act on instinct – preprogrammed, much like a robot. But instead, God created us with the ability to be like him; which means we have the ability to think for ourselves, as well as the ability to imitate God’s love and many other beautiful qualities.

When God created humans, he wanted them to choose to obey him. What is the point of giving someone free will and then forcing them to do what you want? So God gave humans guidelines for how to live happy and fulfilling lives. Deuteronomy 30:19,20 has an invitation from God, who says, “I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the curse; and you must choose life so that you may live…by loving …God, by listening to his voice, and by sticking to him.” If we were to love God and listen to him, then he would bless us.

But if God knows everything, couldn’t he have known that the first humans would sin (Adam and Eve) and then things would go downhill? The Bible does teach that God has great wisdom and can look ahead to what will happen in the future (Isaiah 46:9, 10). But it also teaches that he uses his foreknowledge selectively. Imagine you are going to watch a movie – do you skip straight to the end to see what happens? Or do you watch from the start? In the same way, God chose to wait and see how his earthly creations would act.

But unfortunately, as we have seen, many people misuse their freedom and cause suffering for themselves and others. So, how could God eliminate suffering without taking away man’s freedom? The Bible can answer that question, as well as many others. If you haven’t got a Bible you can read it online.

commented Jul 20, 2015 by LewisDulaney (120 points)
edited Sep 18, 2015 by Kris
A great analysis of why did God give us free will!!
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