UNDERSTANDING THE MISUNDERSTANDING OF FREE WILL !!!
Any discussion concerning free will must begin with a basic understanding of what exactly is free will. Most people think that free will means that we can do anything that we want and this is not correct. Free will is not a physical action, although it leads us to an action. Will is a thought, a desire or wish, perhaps with intent, but it is not the action itself…
If we consider that all actions are preceded by thoughts, we can begin to understand the difference. If we believe that free will is, in fact, the ability to do anything that we want, so then we must acknowledge that man is evil. Our sins then must be intentional and we know that although some of them are intentional, for the most part, we sin because it is in the nature of man. But, let us examine times that we think about doing something and know that it is wrong. Our mind tells us that we should not do it but, we do it anyway… If our will was without restriction, then how do we explain the reason for intentionally doing wrong? And, there are many answers to that question.
Paul understood free will perfectly and speaks of it in Romans when he explains that all the things that he does not want to do, those are the things that he does. And, all of the things he does want to do, he finds that he cannot do. He, as with all of us, also had free will and his will was to do good but, he found his flesh paid no attention to his will.. So, we can begin to see that the will is not the action but, the thought or wish or will !!!
The will is purely in the mind but, actions follow the will. We cannot will anything to happen or cause it to happen. We can only consider ways of doing or not doing things but, we must also understand the outside and powerful influences on our actions. Satan is always there putting thoughts into our minds and, often times we succumb to those desires. We can ask why God allows this but, we do not know. He may want to teach us a lesson or many other reasons that are always in our best interests even if it is wrong but, only He knows this answer.
If man had free will and it was as man believes that he can do whatever he wants, then the world would be an entirely different place. If we thought as Christians and our will was in alignment with biblical doctrine, then there would be little or no evil in this world. We can fight our weaknesses and pray to God to make us a better person. And, when our mind tells us that what we are willing to do is wrong, pay attention !!!