Ultimately, God's Will is that we all come to know Him and to be saved. (1Timothy 2:3-4) He desires that we share in His divine nature through Christ. (2Peter 1:4) He loves us enough to give us the freedom to choose or reject Him, not in one fleeting moment or decision, but throughout our lives and in a multitude of daily decisions. We have freedom. But we also have responsibility.
Last week, I began writing about conscience; understanding how and where God speaks to us, the need to properly form one's conscience, and the propensity for erroneous judgment.
With these things in mind, the Church helps to guide us, also not telling us exactly what to do in every situation but distinguishing certain criteria when making moral choices.
One may not choose to do evil in order to achieve good. You know, two wrongs don't make a right.
Apply the Golden Rule: "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you." (Matthew 7:12)
One must be careful not to cause another to sin (Romans 14:21) or to damage another's conscience. (1Corinthians 8:12) I believe that this "rule" deserves special attention. There are many people whose faith is weak or fragile for whatever reason or circumstance. Many want to believe but have their faith shaken by the world that surrounds them, including the actions of Christians. I am reminded of lines from a Styx song, "Show Me The Way". May we not bring judgment upon ourselves for causing another to lose their faith.
Every night I say a prayer in the hope that there's a heaven And every day I'm more confused as the saints turn into sinners All the heroes and legends I knew as a child have fallen to idols of clay And I feel this empty place inside so afraid that I've lost my faith (Show Me The Way; by Styx)