Did God Make Me an Addict?
The Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel. 1 Samuel 15:35
Though I never really doubted my responsibility in my addiction, I did see the attraction of believing that God’s sovereignty absolved me of accountability. If God is in complete control, then He chose for me to be an addict. I am not responsible for changing myself because I cannot. God will do what He will do, and I am just along for the ride.
When we cling to one truth only – that God is in control – then we often err in dismissing other truths. We cannot mourn something if God wanted it to occur, right? My wife cannot be hurt at my betrayal and I need not feel any guilt. God made me this way. In our minds, one reality supplants another. We cannot believe that God is in control and that we are responsible.
Today’s passage turns such thinking upside down. God was the only king the Israelites required but they demanded a human king. God warned them of the consequences but allowed them to have their way. God personally chose Saul to be king. Saul then disobeyed God, at which point God regretted making Saul king. Wait. What?
How is that possible? If God is in control and knows the future, how can he regret anything? In my finite mind, this makes no sense. To consider two truths at once – that God is all-powerful/all-knowing and can regret a decision – makes my head hurt.
This is precisely what the passage says though, and I would do well to accept some mysteries without insisting that only one can be correct. God is in control and can still regret a thing. God’s sovereignty does not mean my destructive choices are not hurtful. God can allow me to be made an addict and I am still somehow responsible for my decisions. It does not subtract from God’s rule to insist I have some responsibility in my transformation.
God is in control and I am responsible for my choices. I must resist the trap of embracing only one truth, as the Bible teaches both.