Bible Reading: Galatians 6:7-10
Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters. Galatians 6:10
“Everyone does it to me. But Shawn is the worst,” Megan wailed. “He keeps teasing me in gym class because I can’t do a push-up. I’d like to show him how I can push his head clean off.”
Megan’s mom shot her a look that said, “Honey, I know you’re kidding—but that wouldn’t be a good choice.”
“I won’t do anything to him,” Megan promised. “I just wish that God would smack him.”
Most of us have wished that God would stomp on our enemies and stop them from making us feel sad. At the bottom of that wish is a question: Why does God let people choose to be bad-especially when some of them choose to be really bad?
As hard as it may be to hear, giving people the ability to choose between good and evil was the best choice our loving God could ever have made. We really wouldn’t like living in a world where God forces us and everyone else to be good. Think how you squirm when a parent or teacher makes you be nice to someone. You feel dragged by the nose. You do the least you can to satisfy the adult who made the request. Even if you smile on the outside, you frown on the inside. Worse yet, the other person can tell that your heart isn’t in it, and no one likes receiving halfhearted love.
On the other hand, we all like to show love when loving is our own choice. It’s how you feel when you pitch in with chores at a friend’s house. When no one requires you to do something good, suddenly raking leaves or picking up toys can actually be fun.
If God had made us all be good, he might as well have made us robots. Robots don’t really love. They just follow their programming. And they never experience the fun of freely choosing to be good or to show love.
God cared for us enough to put us in a world where we could enjoy being his friend. Even though we don’t like getting hurt by others who choose not to be good to us, the chance to choose between good and evil is a privilege too good to give up.
When people aren’t good to us, we may think that God doesn’t understand. But that’s not true. Just remember how people treat God. Human beings reject him, mock him, and disobey him to his face. God feels hurt, but he keeps on loving and doing good things for people. We, too, have the chance to keep on doing good.
TALK: Say it in your own words: Why did a loving God create a world where people can choose to do evil?
PRAY: God, help us keep loving others even when they treat us badly.
ACT: Lots of people blame God for the evil in the world. Share what you have learned with a friend who struggles with understanding evil.