Diveded-HeartIf we are trying to understand God, Christianity, and life, this is foundational.  We have to have a choice to love or hate, or it isn’t love at all.

Let’s imagine for a second that we are God and we want companionship.  Well, that turns out to  be a bit too simplistic.  What do we mean by companionship?

A rock, log, or doll could be considered companionship.  I think we all would quickly agree that would not be a fulfilling companion unless we are able to live entirely in an imaginary world.  We need something more than that.

What about a pet, like a dog?  Now that truly is a companion without a doubt.  What makes the dog and the doll different?  Life is the obvious answer, but as the value of the companion goes, I would suggest the dog is capable of true communication.  It may not be complete or clear communication but it is communication.  Through that communication dog is capable of making you feel loved.  When it is happy to see you and runs to greet you, you feel love.  The doll can’t do either.

But wait, what if we put a computer in the doll and made it a robot and the doll could listen to us and respond with intelligent answers?  Perhaps the doll could also run to  greet us and hug us, and smile when we come home.  Would the doll then be comparable to the dog?  Would we feel loved by the doll?

Only if we didn’t understand how the robot worked.  As soon as our knowledge of the robot understood that all it’s reaction were controlled by preset logic, the feeling of love, in any sense other than self-love fed by always getting what you want, would be gone.  You could possibly feel that the inventor of the robot loved you, especially if the inventor knew you personally and the robot was programmed especially for you and only you.  Yes, then you could feel loved by the inventor because the inventor chose how to make the robot respond to you.

And there is the word that makes all the difference.  The dog and the inventor both have a choice.  The doll and the robot never had a real choice and could never really love anyone.  Love without a choice can never really be love at all.

But let’s go further.  Lets imagine that the dog is always kept in your house, and always fed by you, and only allowed to interact with you, and that has been the situation the entire life of the dog.  It could still hate you or love you, but to choose hate in that situation would be to hate the only companion the dog has ever known.  It couldn’t leave, or possibly even live, if it chose to  hate you.

Now imagine, on the other hand, the dog could roam wherever it liked and there was dog food under every tree and there were other people and dogs and animals of every kind for the dog could be with.  Yet, despite all that, imagine the dog kept coming home to you and was still always there to greet you and was so excited it jumped on you and licked your face when you walked in the room.  In which case do you feel greater love from the dog?

So to feel true love we not only need the living being that loves us to have a choice, but the depth of their options is directly related to the depth of the love we feel from them.  It not only makes sense, it is obviously true and there is no other way it could be…even if you were God.

So this is where it all comes home for all eternity.  God wants a deep and meaningful love relationship with people in general and with you specifically.  To do that he had no choice, even though he is God, but to create a world where selfish evil existed and give us, and you specifically, the freedom to choose selfishness and evil.  And the evil has to be tempting and real or it doesn’t reveal the depth of our love.

I’ll end with this analogy and let you ponder it if you want to really understand why God would create the world as He did:  If the dog food under the trees is bacon, and you give your dog soybeans, but the dog keeps coming back to you and still wants to be with you, how much does the dog love you?