This month, Chantal Klingbeil answers a question from a reader. If you have questions about Ellen White or our church and its history, you can send them to email@example.com and she'll do her best to answer!
Rachel, that is a great question. Let's go back to the beginning. Adam and Even were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). One part of being created in the image of God is having the power to choose. This is a very special privilege! As humans have the power to reason and to figure out what would happen if we did this or that. Of course God could have made us differently--like little robots--but then we couldn't have had a relationship with God or with people. (I'm sure your computer is nice and all, but you can't have a relationship with it. It does what it's programmed to do.)
Ellen White writes that while Adam and Eve "were obedient to God the evil one could not harm them; for, if need be, every angel in heaven would be sent to their help... But should they once yield to temptation, their nature would become so depraved that in themselves they would ahve no power and no disposition to resist Satan" (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.53).
Adam and Eve were free to choose. And in the garden there were lots of choices--they were free to eat anything they liked, they could work when they anted to and dream up new projects, hang out with angels, perhaps even organize trips to other planets. They could do practical science experiments, train animals, etc. Any choice they made was fine--all except that tree of knowledge of good and evil. We know the sad outcome--they chose to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Things changed with sin entering the world. Now we still have choices but some will have good consequences and some very bad consequences for us. This makes life complicated.
When you were a baby your parents made all the choices for you. They chose what you wore and what you ate and when you slept. And then they began to give you little choices to make tha thelped you learn about your world (stuff like if you drop a glass it breaks) that helped you become more responsible and more careful. Your parents are probably still making some big decisions for you (I don't suppose they will let you drop out of school), but they are giving you more choices. It makes them very happy and proud when they see that you are making mature choices.
I think God works with us the same way. He wants to help us grow as we make the best choices. And remember: if you need help, He's just a prayer away!
Wishing you lots of fun with your choices as you practice being created in the image of God!
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