Why Does God Allow (Me to Do) Evil?
What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Romans 3:3-4
In times of hurt and loss, it’s natural to ask why God allows horrible things to happen. Life is full of trials and the problem of suffering and pain has probably been the one argument against God’s existence that has bothered me the most. It’s not that I’ve had such a bad life. It’s the misery that I see others enduring that makes me ask why God would allow such things. Why does God allow young people to die? Why does God allow evil people to hurt others? If God is all-powerful and all-loving, shouldn’t he do something?
In asking why God allows people to hurt each other, I have to be honest enough to look at my own life. If I’m going to put God on trial, I must analyze my own behavior, asking whose fault my destructive actions have been. When I hurt those around me in my drug addiction, was that God’s doing or mine?
Paul addressed this in today’s passage. In it, he asked if the evil that people commit is God’s fault. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? His answer was an emphatic no. By no means! Paul placed the blame for evil squarely at our feet. Paul may not blame us individually for everything bad that happens, but in the opening chapter of Romans, Paul described the destructive, painful consequences of humanity choosing to follow itself over God.
God loves us and he longs that we love him in return. For love to be real, there has to be choice. In Genesis, God put Adam and Eve in the garden and gave them a choice to obey him or follow themselves. They chose, as we’ve all chosen, to follow their own appetite over God. The result is pain and loss. The world is broken, and pain exists because humanity has chosen evil.
In painful trials, we may feel like victims of an uncaring God, but the truth is, we’ve done evil and we’ve hurt others. Should God have stopped us? In his sovereign wisdom, he’s allowed us to choose evil and the result of that choice is pain and suffering. It’s natural to be angry at God in the midst of a trial, but the next time I look for the source of suffering in the world, I need to look no further than humanity – and myself.