We do not know the whole reason, but we know part of the answer. Personhood requires freedom.
- Where there is no free choice, there is no personality.
- We are real people when we can be ourselves, make our own decisions, and express our personalities, i.e., choose the way we live.
- The Bible says that when God created the human race, He gave us the gift of choice. Joshua 24:15 says, "...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve."
- God has allowed us to decide between right and wrong, rather than turning us into a race of robots.
Suppose you created a robot that could speak, and you programmed it so every time you pushed a button it would say, "I love you, and I will do whatever you ask." You would feel no pleasure from hearing that statement, because it is not the product of a thinking, choosing person. The robot does not love you nor desire to obey you; it is only repeating what you programmed it to say. It would not be a relationship of love, nor would it be true obedience. A relationship demands love, and love requires a choice. It cannot be forced or programmed.
Therefore, if God created us with freedom, there would have to be the possibility for us to appropriately use or misuse it. We could choose to do right, live as He asks us to, love God with our whole heart; or we could choose to do wrong and turn our backs on Him. Unfortunately, the sad story of the human race is that from the beginning, turning their backs on God is what men and women have done. We prefer to be in control ourselves—in effect, to be our own gods.
If we choose to be in control, however,we should understand the consequences. Living a life independent of God means we are likely to get it wrong. If I bought a new car, but ignored the instruction manual and never got it serviced, I should not be surprised if it fell apart. Likewise, when we ignore the Maker's advice, we end up in all sorts of trouble, and have only ourselves to blame.
Someone might say, "This is all very well, but surely I cannot be responsible for all the wrong in the world."
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