Monday, October 14, 2013

Choice – the Gift from God

I believe that God, in His/Her infinite love, gave man the freedom of choice.  He created us in His/Her own image, with the potential to grow in love and understanding, that we could be true children, who can respond to their parent by their own choice.

Unfortunately, our first human ancestors decided to go their own way, and ended up creating a world of selfishness and destruction.

“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.”
~ Deuteronomy 30:19

In the beginning, God set before us a commandment, not to eat of the tree of good and evil (Genesis 2:16–17).  There was only one choice to make it right. 
After men fell, during the Old Testament Age, Moses brought the 10 Commandments to give people limits.  When Jesus arrived, he opened up the New Testament Age, and he told his disciples to love God, and to love their fellow men.  Now, in the Completed Testament Age, True Parents have given us only one direction and that is “to discover God’s Heart.”  It looks like mankind came around full circle to finally start this relationship right: as spiritual beings we can be one with the all-mighty, all-knowing, omnipotent, omnipresent, and awesome God.  That means we can be like him, becoming true sons and daughters, just like Jesus, the first-born son and savior.

"For you were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
~ Galatians 5:13

Paradox of Choice
I was reading a book by the same name and learned from Barry Schwartz, the author, that the more choices we have, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

He talks about the overload of choices, and how it can make some people sick and overwhelmed.  Mr. Schwartz proves that we can only experience true freedom when we can accept limits, either self-imposed through discipline or through laws or given traditions.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
~ Ephesians 5:15-17

The Power of Choice
Man was given free will:

Choices give us motivation:

Consistently enforced limits, in the French view, make children feel safe and secure. Clear limits, they believe, actually make a child feel happier and safer—something that is congruent with my own experience as both a therapist and a parent.

"Since man fell according to his own will, God lets man make his own choice about whether to go to Satan or himself.  If the man chooses to go to God at this time then Satan must give in.  If in making the offering this person becomes completely one with the person in the Abel position and then wishes to stay on God's side, Satan has nothing to say."
~Rev. Sun Myung Moon, "Day of All Things," 6.6.1978

Even the law of the land gives us certain freedoms:

The First Amendment

The First Amendment is perhaps the most important part of the Bill of Rights. It protects five of the most basic liberties. They are freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition the government to right wrongs. These were the guarantees that the Antifederalists missed most in the new Constitution.

Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion means that the government may not force you to accept one set of religious beliefs, nor may it interfere with the way you worship.

Freedom of Speech
This freedom entitles American citizens to say what they think, provided they do not intentionally hurt someone else's reputation by making false accusations. Neither may they make irresponsible statements deliberately harmful to others, such as yelling, "Fire!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire. There are many issues about which Americans disagree, from child-rearing practices to baseball teams to Presidential candidates. Freedom of speech enables people to state their opinions openly to try to convince others to change their minds.

Freedom of the Press
This freedom makes it possible for Americans to keep informed about what is going on in government. It helps them to be responsible citizens. Reporters and editors can criticize the government without the risk of punishment, provided they do not deliberately tell lies. Newspapers, magazines, and books, as well as television and movie scripts, do not have to be submitted for government inspection before they are published. This censorship would violate the First Amendment.

Freedom of Assembly
This freedom makes it possible for Americans to join clubs or political parties, even if those groups represent unpopular views. Because of the First Amendment, people can join groups to promote animal rights, the nuclear freeze, or conservation. They can join groups to protest government intervention in Haiti, imported clothes and shoes, toxic wastes, or aid to Serbia or Bosnia. By sharing common interests, Americans can learn to work together. There are groups devoted to the interests of young people. Scout troops and 4-H clubs are but two examples.

Freedom to Petition
This important freedom allows people to tell the government what they think is needed. They can try to prevent the government from acting in a certain way. They can complain to the government without fear of penalty when things aren't going the way they should.
"Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong,
which course is patriotic and which isn't.
You cannot shirk this and be a man.
To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor,
both to yourself and to your country."
~ Mark Twain

For myself I have reserved a simple way of making decisions. I ask myself: does my choice bring me closer to God or take me further away?  For most of the important decisions that works well for me.  It gets harder when I have to decide what to eat from a menu or what to wear for the day.  But then again, those are not life-changing choices.


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