If God is all powerful, why doesn’t he stop all the fighting?

I wrote this when my delightful daughters were much younger; I hope that if they read this now it will make them smile ……

Parents can learn a lot from their children.

My children sometimes fight.  Sometimes one or other of them may exaggerate their wounds and try to get me to arbitrate as to who was to blame.  I hate to see them fighting and so have found myself drawn into trying to resolve and judge the issue.  However, I try not to blame one or the other because I love them both and recognize that it takes two to make an argument. However, it often ends up with both of them ‘hating’ me.  If I do arbitrate then the one who ‘wins’ soon forgets, but the loser then spirals into silent or vociferous anger and feeling of being unfairly treated.  As an arbitrator I cannot win!  Even as a peacekeeper I seldom win.  It is perhaps best to leave them to have their fight, and to be there to comfort whoever needs comforting.

Since we have free will, how can God intervene when he sees us fighting and causing suffering?  We would behave in just the same way as my children.  It would not be ‘fair’ if we were judged ‘against’, and if we were judged ‘for’ then we would simply accept the decision as our right, and go about our business.  He has given us the dignity of choice, but having done that he has necessarily limited the use of his power.

He lets us choose how to resolve the fight.  Jesus told us how to resolve the fight if we are prepared to listen.  Essentially – don’t worry about winning the argument – look for the plank in your own eye – think what you could have done better – be humble – turn the other cheek.  It’s not ‘fair’, but it works!  But when we ignore his advice then he’s still there to comfort whoever needs comforting.

Is it time to stop blaming God for all the things we do wrong to each other?  Instead, shall we recognise his love for us, and listen to his advice and find the fulfilment of living our lives as he intended?

About Minimalist Christian

Phil Hemsley is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the UK. He works for a multinational company in the power industry, has presented technical papers at international conferences and holds many patents. He has published two books, the most recent is "The Big Picture, an Honest Examination of God Science and Purpose". He has lived on both sides of the faith fence. He is married, with two daughters.
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2 Responses to If God is all powerful, why doesn’t he stop all the fighting?

  1. the argument rests on the assumption that God has given us free will … accepted … however God does have the power to influence the outcome of all the battles that are taking place… Essentially you see the ones who involve in scrupulous ways of doing things come out as winners … the people in power dominate those not in power … in a children’s fight you can influence one child to victory … why would God not do that to see those oppressed getting better … why would our lives be so disparate some with so much and while others cry …

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