Black Church News in Virginia

Seeds of Hope: Choose Wisely

A reader recently wrote and asked a question that many of us ask at one time or another: “If there is a God, and if He is a good and loving God, why does He allow sin and suffering?”

A simple answer is that God gave each of us the opportunity and responsibility to make and live with the consequences. But there is a liability that came with this freedom. Even though we can make a poor choice, God will not interfere with our freedom to make it. Unfortunately we all live with the choice that Adam and Eve made: it introduced sin into the world and we have to live with their choice.

But it seems that we all make decisions that are not in keeping with what is in our best interests. Consider the case history of Israel. The psalmist wrote, “My people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts.”

Without choice there could be no love or liberty, grace or goodness, caring or compassion. We are free to choose what is right and righteous or what is destructive and devastating. This is true of individuals and nations alike. We have sin and suffering because of wrong choices.

And why do we make wrong choices? Again our psalmist has the answer: “If my people would but listen to me…I would subdue their enemies.”

Whenever we walk in our own ways, individually or as a nation, we will suffer from our “enemies” – whatever would defeat or destroy us. God allows us that choice.

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