For the last few weeks, I have allowed myself to think outside my normal box and I have learned that this is important for spiritual maturity and growth but it’s also important for a person to learn who they are and to grow in their beliefs in the physical world: “But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
Over these last few weeks, I have listened to different people talk from all different walks of life and backgrounds about important issues that vary in significance and importance ranging from topics in all areas of life including both political and spiritual issues. This has become very important for me since joining the ministry and while I have had people tell me that I should not listen to certain people and while we are to be careful of who and what we entertain, we are never to forget that Christ Himself walked with those the religious rulers thought were the deplorables: “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:46).
One issue that I have thought a lot about especially since the protests and riots started back up all over the country is that of good and evil. Different times I have heard people ask the question “if there is a God, how can he allow for evil to exist?” This is something that is not always easy to answer but I have come to understand that if people are committing evil(s) then there is a potential for good. We see this in the very beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when God gave them one rule and while it was easy to follow, Satan told them something that tickled their ears and it got the best of them but they had the freedom to choose between right and wrong and to do good or evil.
This may seem simple or it may sound deep and depending on whom you ask; it differs but what is clear to me is that God meant for His children to have freedom and the ultimate example of this is the cross. God went to the cross to buy our freedoms as we are unable to do so but also, to take away death. In doing this, God gave us the freedom of eternal life and peace but God does not force this upon us but allows us to make the decision on our own: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Although I have said this many times, it is called for once more: God is a gentleman and gives us our own freedoms in choosing which is why the acceptance of God and our willingness to live our Christian life is so significant. In other words, because we have a choice in the matter and we willingly choose to accept and honor God out of free will, the act is much greater than one that is forced upon you. For example, if you love someone because you truly feel something for that person, it’s much different than doing something because you think you have to or out of need:“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). When we hold fast to that which is good then we have understanding and knowledge of the truth: “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).