It’s often a common response to blame God for the tragedies of our world. Starvation, violence, hate crimes, why do these things happen? And if there is an all knowing and all powerful God, why does he let those things happen?
There are many answers to the question, but let me start with the most important. God doesn’t let these things happen, we do. Where there is one human—no matter what human it is—there is potential for something evil to happen. We have free will. We choose between good and evil everyday. Humans are responsible for what happens on Earth. There is enough food for everybody to eat. There is something called “good” in this world that can prevent violence and crimes.
If we want to blame God for the bad things of this world, let’s first ask ourselves when the last time was that we donated to a charity that fed the hungry. Let’s first ask ourselves when the last time was that we befriended someone who looked as if they truly needed a friend.
When I was young, God had me become friends with many of the kids that were considered the “misfits, outcasts, and dorks” of the class. He used me in that way, and I was considered one the students who was looked up to. But, because God used me to befriend those who needed friends, I soon was treated as an outcast as well. If I had done what I truly wanted to do, I would have treated them like all the rest. I would have ignored them. I would have engaged in politicking for my own popularity, which would have led to me often knocking someone else down to build myself up.
I’m not saying this because I feel that I should get a gold star. I’m not saying this to brag. I’m simply making a point. I’m also saying that God didn’t make me do it. I knew that it was something God would want me to do, so I chose to do it.
If we are on the side of peace, then we should truly study what makes a peaceful environment. And, more often than not, peace is the direct result of love. What is love? Love isn’t romance. Love is selflessness. Love doesn’t politic for popularity. It doesn’t worry about itself. It worries about other people. It’s concerns are with the funny looking child who struggles with his or her grades, peers, and health. Love is the day that we stop buying the latest iPhone and decide to spend the money on someone who could benefit from knowing that there is love in this world.
Here’s the truth: We sit on our fluffy couches watching our nice televisions surrounded by boxes of wasted gadgets that in our minds became out dated, and we gripe about how God is running this world when the truth is that we—the people living on this planet—are the ones who are running it into the ground.
As a society, we are responsible for what happens. Blaming the objects we create is not the answer. The answer is ourselves, and we need to believe that we either choose good or we choose evil. Inevitably, the farther away our society grows from God, the more we will believe that evil is the right answer—the more we will not understand what is good. God is good. God’s ways are above our own, and understanding that and trusting in that is the only answer to our problems. Again, the problem is ourselves. The problem is our society. There is no one individual at fault. It isn’t today’s generation that has caused terrible tragedies like we have been seeing in the past months. Generations of learning the wrong way of life has led to where we are today. The problem is that we don’t choose good because we don’t choose God. We choose ourselves, and as a result, our culture is selfish. And a selfish culture will produce all the pitfalls of a society filled with the misery of winners and the misery of losers, completely missing out on the wholeness of true, pure friendship.
The answer is not a better government. The answer is not stricter laws. The answer is Jesus Christ, and with Jesus Christ, we, as a society, can begin to learn how to be good again; we can get away from the consumerism mindset—where we treat the things we create as God rather than treat God as God—and put our eyes and our hearts in the hands of a God who truly cares about people. God won’t make us choose him. We have to do it, and to choose him often means that we have to say no to what we want.
Again, where there is a human, there is the potential for evil, even with humans who believe in Jesus Christ, because the reality is that we have the choice of good or evil. We will never be able to completely wipe-out evil, but, at least, if we put our trust in the God who loves, who holds all wisdom, who is the only source of good, then our society can begin to learn, once again, the ways of true love and true life.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7, Message Bible)