What would you say?
So the other morning, at a much too early of an hour to function, I had someone ask me one of THOSE questions. You know the kind I mean, questions about the core essence of life that you never really think about having to answer—at least not early in the morning–but once asked, you are compelled to address as thoroughly as you can. It’s a question that defines the past, the present, and the future of the world where we live and one that can even influence what a person chooses to do every minute of their lives. Perspective is everything.
The question: If God created all things, did God create evil?
Considering all of the awful things happening in the world, I could tell this person was struggling to understand the growing evil around us. And as I talk or hear from other people, I get the general consensus that it is overwhelming to listen to the news these days. I’m often considered an optimist, but I too was at the point of despair not long ago (a few simple words from a NYT Bestselling Author renewed my hope and I will share that in a future blog).
Have you felt this way yourself?
Is the whole world feeling this way? Do you think that the reason super hero movies are doing so well at box offices around the world is because the hearts of the people everywhere are looking for light and hope in a growing darkness?
I won’t get into a discussion of the existence of God here, because the very nature of the question is going on the supposition that God exists. I will say that no matter what you believe or don’t believe about man’s existence, be it creation by a higher power, evolution, big bang theorists, or any other explanation, you are believing it on faith alone because there are no definitive, scientific facts to prove any of them. My personal experiences along with a great many other things too numerous to list here have led me to the belief in God, the creator of all things known and unknown in the universe.
So back to the question: Did God create evil? How about we go deeper and ask the even harder question, why does God allow evil to exist?
I have said many times that I am a firm believer in the battle between good and evil both in heaven and earth. It is the driving theme in my Shadowmen Series and it is what motivates my heroes and heroines no matter what genre I write. In fact, I can truly say this battle lies at the heart of all of my stories, because I write about love, which, to me, is the opposite of evil. So, while I am no theologian or expert, I thought I would share my perspective and answers to these questions.
Evil exists. It is a pervasive force in the world today just as it was throughout the history of mankind. But is evil a creation, like a man, or an animal, or the stars? Or is evil, like love, an act of volition?
When God created man, he didn’t create a puppet, but gave man free will. Man can choose to do good to others around him, to love another, or he can choose to do harm, commit evil against another. An individual’s act or acts in turn define who and what they are.
Actions of good, of unselfishly helping another, of putting others before self, express love and characterize a loving person. While gratuitous actions of deliberate harm, of intentionally destroying another person, of murdering, debasing, and annihilating other human beings are acts of evil and in turn define the perpetrator as evil.
Actions are powerful. They create a “feeling” response from those on the receiving end of the love or the evil. Those receiving the gift of love feel acceptance and hope. Those receiving the curse of evil feel fear and despair. The emotions created by actions become a shared experience among humans that, in turn, develops into a force within the hearts and minds of people. This force influences everything and everyone around them. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to actions and their effects, but you get the idea.
So to answer the question: Did God create evil? No. Evil is not a creation it is an act that man, who has the gift of free will, chooses to do. Man is responsible for his own actions.
Why does God allow evil to exist? Evil exists because of free will. Man has the gift of choice as to what he will do with his heart, his mind, his spirit, his body, his life. But let’s go deeper into the subject. What defines “allow”? To me it means you give permission and don’t fight against it. Does God give evil permission? Or does he set up a code of behavior to stop evil in its tracks. Does God fight against evil by every means possible even unto the sacrifice of himself? Yes. God is the opposite of evil in every way. God is love.
What can we do? We can choose every moment to offer love to others around us. It doesn’t have to be ultimate sacrifice every second, but we can give a kind word, and encouraging smile. We can give heartfelt apologies when we fail to do what is right, or hurt another person. We can let go of bitterness, rage, resentment, anger, and self-absorption. We can keep calm and pray on knowing that no matter what the force of love will conquer the force of evil in the end.
I invite you to share this blog with anyone who might find comfort,