Why did God give us freedom?

God gave us freedom so that we may freely choose him and do what is true, good and beautiful.

 

Sometimes when we look at the world around us, it is tempting to question why God gave us freedom in the first place. From our point of view, it might seem better if everyone simply did the same thing and didn’t have to make difficult choices. However, God gave us freedom for a reason, and it is a gift we need to understand in order to use it properly.

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that “Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility” (CCC 1731).

 

Furthermore, we all possess “the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning” (CCC 1732).

At the same time, while we have the ability to choose good or evil, we exercise our freedom the most when we choose what is good.

 

The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.” (CCC 1733)

Freedom has been given to man by his Creator in order to be used, and to be used well … freedom has been given to him by his Creator not in order to commit what is evil (cf. Gal 5:13), but to do good. God also bestowed upon man understanding and conscience to show him what is good and what ought to be done, what is wrong and what ought to be avoided. God’s commandments help our understanding and our conscience on their way. The greatest commandment — that of love — leads the way to the fullest use of liberty … Freedom is therefore offered to man and given to him as a task. He must not only possess it, but also conquer it.