Standing Tall, Falling Hard: Blessing and Curse of Free Will

As Christian Americans, we have a difficult time understanding free will as a gift. In our free-trade society, free will is a right. Chapter 10 of The Story demonstrates the blessing and curse of free will. Free will is the ability given by God to make our own choices, good and bad. God gives us this ability, and then we either live into our faith or we live without our faith.

Hannah, the mother of our central character Samuel, wisely lives into her faith in God as she upholds her end of the bargain. She gives her son to God. As a result, God continues to bless her with more children. Saul, the first human king of Israel, unwisely lives without his faith in God and he is destroyed by his greed and disobedience. He doesn’t uphold his end of the bargain. Free will for Saul is his right as king to use his God-given identity and authority to take what is not his to take, and for Hannah, free will is obedience to God.

Samuel is the direct result of the blessing of his mothers’ free will, while Saul’s demise is the direct result of the curse of his own free will. The people in The Story that give us hope are those that practice free will as divine obedience to God, while those that disappoint us practice free will as human right.

The same is true today. Free will is not inherently bad, but our humanness, and especially our American entitlement, disguises free will as rights. As Christians, we are not entitled to anything. We gave up our human rights when we decided to follow Jesus. Jesus gave up his divine rights to rescue us. My challenge to you and myself, sisters and brothers, let’s live into our faith as we practice free will as divine obedience to God. May our free will be a blessing to those who don’t know God. May they know we are Christians because of our love for each other, and may American not define who we are or how we believe.

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Kingdom Outpost - Casey McCollum



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