The Story of Christmas, Part 2: Goodness
So man is a maker made in the image of The Maker.
But there is a crucially defining characteristic concerning the creative powers of the Creator: goodness. This deity doesn’t just make- he makes well. And if the Good-Maker has created us to be like him, then this attribute must apply to us, also. We’re not talking about subjective, artistic preferences. We’re talking about a goodness that transcends the trends: Life over death. Love over hatred. We’re thrust into the conversation of morality. Right and wrong.
This morality is a feature that humanity alone must wrestle with. A lion is not found guilty of murder when he kills and eats his prey. A Black Widow eats her mate immediately after copulating with him- should she be brought to trial? No, she is doing what she does naturally. But we hold each other and ourselves to moral standards of right and wrong that the animal kingdom is excused from. If our identifying bond with our maker is our ability to create with goodness, then why do we make such horrible choices? Why do we murder, and rape and lie, and cheat, and destroy?
In any creative endeavor, there are thousands of possible outcomes- not all of them ending with the voice of God saying, “It is good.” Ask your parents- when they first gave you the keys to the car were they worried of your power to create or your power to destroy? True creative power holds the keys to infinite outcomes- some better than others. When our maker gave us the ability to create with goodness, He gave us freedom; because an identifying feature of any creative endeavor is the ability to make a mistake. We have the power to make well, because we have the ability to make poorly.
Free-will, autonomy, and the power to make our own decisions is a crucial part of the image that we have been given to bear. A robot cannot make a mistake intentionally. It cannot creatively make decisions. It cannot go to jail or commit a crime. It can only follow a program. But we humans have the freedom to make choices, some better than others. It’s part of what it means to be be like-God.
“Choose this day whom you will serve … but as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” —Joshua 24:15