Real Choices without Consequences?

Romans 8:28 promises that God will work everything together for good for those who love Him and keep His commands. It’s not easy to understand how God can take the results of evil choices and create good. In this conversation from my novel Deception, Jake and Clarence challenge Ollie’s desire for both freedom to choose and freedom from evil’s consequences:

“You believe in free choice?” Jake asked.


“Doesn’t free choice demand the freedom to choose evil?”

“Not if it causes this much suffering.”

“How much suffering is acceptable? Can you have real choices without consequences, both good and bad?”

I [Ollie] shrugged.

“Isn’t it inconsistent,” Clarence piped in, “to say it’s good for God to give us free choice, but then say He shouldn’t allow evil consequences from evil choices?”

“You can’t have it both ways,” Jake said.

These guys were a regular tag team.

“I’ve made some bad choices,” I said. “If I had it to do over again, I’d have been there for my daughters. But if God’s all-powerful, couldn’t He have made me do it right in the first place?”

Made you do it right?” Jake asked… “If I were to offer to make things okay in your life, but to do it I had to take away your ability to choose, would you take me up on it? Ask me to make all your decisions for you?”

“Then it would be your life, not mine,” I said.

“Exactly. So how can you expect God to give us free choice, then fault Him because He did? What could He do to make you happy?”

I explore this topic more in the article “Do human beings really have free will? How does that fit with God’s sovereignty?”

photo credit: Bogdan I. Stanciu via photopin cc

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries