Life choices are a re­sult of free will

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - PUZZLES & FUNNIES -

From the writ­ings of the Rev. Billy Gra­ham

Q: My friend has twin daugh­ters now 19 years of age. Both have been raised by the same par­ents with the same rules. One is re­spect­ful and re­spon­si­ble, the other is wild and way­ward. How can this be? — T.W.

A: Vik­tor Frankl in his book, “Man’s Search for Mean­ing,” de­scribes the re­ac­tions of two broth­ers with the same hered­ity, the same en­vi­ron­ment, in the same con­cen­tra­tion camp un­der the Nazis. One be­came a saint and the other a swine. Frankl tells us the rea­son why. He said, “Each man has within him the power to choose how he will re­act to any given sit­u­a­tion.” God has given us the power of choice. Some peo­ple to­day do not wish to ac­cept the re­spon­si­bil­ity for their ac­tions. They blame so­ci­ety. They blame cir­cum­stances. But Adam sinned in a per­fect en­vi­ron­ment un­der per­fect cir­cum­stances. We can’t blame it all on some­body else. We must ac­cept the

blame our­selves for our part.

So­ci­ety is made up of in­di­vid­u­als, each com­ing from dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances. The cul­ture has de­vel­oped a vic­tim men­tal­ity that al­lows peo­ple to eas­ily fall prey to cast­ing blame on some­one else or some­thing else. We must get this fact firmly fixed in our minds: we live in an up­side-down world. Peo­ple hate when they should love, quar­rel when they should be friendly, fight when they should be peace­ful, wound when they should heal, steal when they should share, do wrong when they should do right.

While a good en­vi­ron­ment can be a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence, each per­son is re­spon­si­ble for what they ul­ti­mately be­lieve. Each per­son has the free­dom to look into God’s Word and read it, and be­lieve it, for them­selves. God will never lead con­trary to His Word.

Billy Gra­ham

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