In my last blog, I told people not to be mean when discussing theology. This time, I’m going to talk theology (kinda). So it’s possible that my previous entry was just a ploy to make you be nice to me…
Like the sovereignty of God. Yes.
Basically, I hear a running debate around me in Christianity, which I’ll sum up like this:
If man has a free will (to make choices about his life and/or salvation) that would negate God’s sovereignty. However, if God is in complete control, then man must not have a free will.
I believe in the sovereignty of God. Completely. But, I mean, man obviously makes choices. We’re not robots or drones. Or puppets.
I was thinking aloud to my husband the other night. And I said, “I don’t really understand why this is a debate. Why, if God gives man a free will, would that make Him any less sovereign? If He lets man have choices, how does that make God any less in control?
Like with our kids. If I say to Isaiah, “Do you want peach yogurt or strawberry yogurt for lunch?” does me offering him a choice mean I’m any less the parent? No one would look at me and say, “Wow, that lady’s kids are so out of control. She let them pick what kind of yogurt they want.”
As parents, we give our kids choices all the time. We give them choices when we don’t care what they decide because either option is good for them. Sometimes we offer two choices, one good and one bad, knowing which one they’ll gravitate towards: “Do you want to stop whining or go to bed?” And then there are those learning choices: “If you want the other kids at the park to play with you, then you need to be kind. It’s your decision.”
Honestly, when parents don’t give their kids choices, it’s a bit disconcerting. Something would feel a bit off if we saw a mom sitting in the playroom with her kid, deciding which toy he would play with next. Most of us, would say, “Back off, Lady! Give your kid some space.”
And when we give our kids controlled choices, it doesn’t negate our authority in their lives. It doesn’t mean the kids are running the show. Often, by giving our kids choices, we are actually shaping their lives more than if we told them every move to make.
So do we think we’re better parents than God the Father? That’s pretty much what Jesus was asking here:
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11
I think it’s kind of funny that we think our choices could thwart the plans of the God of the Angel Armies. Friends, we are not that big. We’re not that powerful.
He’s a good Father. He knows when to sovereignly give us a choice.