As a parent, I only want good things for my children. It’s in my nature. Everything I do for my kids is good. Because of that, my plans for their lives will always be good.
When bad things happen to them, I ask, “why”? After much reflection, I can see the answer is simple. I can’t force them to do good. Nor can I force other people to do good to them. Evil exists because God gave mankind a free choice, and we choose not to do good a lot of the time. My kids have freewill. Other people they encounter also have freewill.
This begs the question, “why is there any good?” In a dog-eat-dog world, the only reason there is good is because there is a God and he is good by nature. He can’t be evil. He can’t do bad things. He sets the baseline for right and wrong. They are absolutes. Just as I only want good things for my children, God only wants good things for me. I get hurt because I make poor decisions. I experience pain because someone else chooses to harm me.
Therefore, we are accountable for our decisions. Our decisions, and our behaviors, are influenced by how we think. How we think is affected by what we think about. What we think about is what we allow to dwell in our minds. When something dwells, it lives there. We can’t control what enters our mind, but we can control if it stays.
Understanding this fundamental fact is crucial to a clean slate and fresh start. Right thinking and right living comes from God and starts with controlling what dwells in your mind.
“Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent and praiseworthy — think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
And from the lyrics of the song, Freewill, by Rush, the best rock band of all time:
You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears
And kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that’s clear
I will choose freewill
Freewill is both a blessing and a curse. In The Grand Experiment of mankind, it’s the choice that determines whether or not evil exists in the world.
Therefore, each and every one of us is accountable for evil existing, not God. When bad things happen, don’t blame God. We only have to look in the mirror.
The good news is that we have the power within us to control the outcome. The One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world.
Do good or do evil? It your choice. The battleground is your mind.
And as with any fight, you need the right arsenal to defeat the enemy. These weapons are skills that can be acquired through training. I had to learn them. Now, unwanted thoughts dwelling in my mind are a thing of the past.
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