By Lenora Grimaud

“Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42)

Jesus came, not to do his own will but his Father’s will. His Father’s will was for him to reveal the Father’s love to the world; a love that puts others first, and is unconditional and sacrificial—A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). He came to save the world—For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved (John 3:17). He came to deliver humanity from evil, selfishness, and sin—which makes us slaves, and leads to death—I tell you most solemnly, everyone who commits sin is a slave. Now the slave’s place in the house is not assured, but the son’s place is assured. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:34-36). He came to reveal the name of the Father and to make him known to all humanity through his disciples—I have made your name known to the men you took from the world to give me (John 17:6). He came to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth; a kingdom of peace, harmony, unity, and love by bringing everyone into a personal relationship with the Father—unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). He came to bring the Holy Spirit in order to transform humanity into the image of God—you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses (Acts 1:8). This was the will of the Father, and Jesus was ready to abandon his personal human will for his own good, to the Father for the good of all humanity—I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but to do the will of the one who sent me (John 6:38).

While it is true that we have a free will and the freedom of choice, we frequently choose death instead of life. Because of sin, our will has been corrupted. It naturally leans toward self-gratification and selfishness instead of love. We seek out that which gives us pleasure in the moment, instead of that which brings eternal spiritual joy and life. Our spirit seeks God—goodness, beauty, truth, and love—but, our perverse and unredeemed will seeks its own pleasure. When it comes to our “will,” there are three paths open to us: choosing to gratify ourselves by doing our own will, independent of God (narcissism); choosing to hand over our will to another person, place or thing (dependency & codependency); or choosing to unite our will with God in order to do the will of the Father (altruism & divine love). Eve’s choice is an example of the first path, and Adam’s choice is an example of the second path. Jesus came to restore humanity by choosing the third path.

Narcissism: 1 Excessive self-love in whatever form; characterized by a preoccupation with oneself to the exclusion of others; 2 self-centered; limited in outlook or concern to one’s own activities and needs; 3 an exaggerated sense of self-importance. The narcissistic person is centered in his own self. He makes his self his God. He sees the world and everything in it as revolving around him, and expects everyone to be subservient to his needs. His own happiness is his goal in life.

Dependency & Codependency: 1 In Clinical Psychology a person is said to be dependent on someone or something to the extent that he needs that thing or person in order to go about his regular activities. 2 A psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition. The dependent or codependent person is not free. He has given over his will to others and loses his own self (idolatry). In a marriage where one or both spouses surrender their will to the other, it is a codependent relationship rather than a true marriage. It can only be a true marriage when both spouses unite their will with the will of God—love—in order to freely give themselves to each other.

Altruism: 1 The opposite of selfishness; being concerned for others rather than oneself (or one’s self). 2 Unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others. 3 Behavior that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others. This is the model that Jesus lived and called others to. We can only be truly free when we freely choose to abandon our will to God—become subservient to God—because God’s will is our perfect good. God is love, and only by giving our will over to divine love can we hope to be truly free and truly happy—For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it (Mat. 16:25). The altruistic person is centered in God, rather than himself; God is the center of his life and all life. He sees everyone as his brother and sister, and all are equal. He sees all of life as good.

God is the only one we can surrender our will to without losing our freedom, because He respects our free will and always asks for our permission. Jesus, like his mother, Mary, said “yes” to God, allowing the Father to work his will through them. Jesus said: No one takes it [my life] from me; I lay it down of my own free will (John 10:18). To abandon ourselves to the will of God is to trust in God enough to accept our total dependence on Him for everything. We are never separated from Him; He is in us and we are in Him. Surrendering to the will of God is not something we do once and for all, but a day by day, moment by moment, free choice to unite our will with God’s will. We never lose our free will, but freely choose to will the will of God. By abandoning ourselves to the will of God, we do not lose our will, we find it, and our true self, as well.

Without this union with God, made possible through the merits of Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Spirit, if we are a teacher we will most likely be a false teacher; if we are a prophet we will most likely be a false prophet; if we claim to be a son of God, we will most likely be a false Christ. To be what we were created to be, to be our true self, we have to be able to say with Jesus, Father, let your will be done, not mine.

God gave us a free will and will never take it away from us. We are free to love him or reject him. He does not punish us for rejecting him. The consequences of our own choices are its own punishment. We are judged and condemned by our own free will. We reap what we sew. The only thing that can save us from the effects of our choice to sin and to do evil is the mercy of God. But, we have to accept his mercy! If we don’t, we suffer the consequences of those choices. All rational people believe in “cause and effect.” The Buddhists call it “Karma.” It is a “Law of Nature.” Someone always pays the price for sin and evil. If we manage to get away with something, someone pays for it—usually the poor. This is why Christians are called to do penance. But, without the sacrifice of love made by Jesus Christ, all our penance would be in vain.

The worst consequence of sin and evil is that it destroys love and goodness within our soul, to the point that we are no longer able to love or receive love. We are left without hope and faith, and given over to pride, despair, and insanity. If we had no sin in us, our will would be the same as the Father’s will. Why would any sane person choose death rather than accept mercy? It all boils down to “pride.” We would rather be our own God and die in our sins rather than accept mercy from the true God and live. Pride is the root of all sin and evil. We need to recognize that, as the result of sin and evil, our human will has been corrupted, making it necessary for us to cry out with Jesus, Father, let your will be done, not mine!

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