In the first three parts of this series of articles (access 1, 2, 3), we discussed that because God loves us unconditionally, He already stacked the deck of life in our favor. If we know that God is with us, then all suffering must be instructive rather than punitive. It is up to all free-willed souls to accept becoming better people or continue to reap the suffering we sow until we make better choices.
This last article in the series will focus on why we are on this earth and why it is such a wonderful place to learn what we need to know.
If we accept that we were made in God’s image, then it’s not a big leap to believe that our true nature is as spiritual beings. Unless we believe that God has arms and legs, creating us in His image would make us all identical souls separated only by our individual choices. What are the implications of this concept when it comes to living on the earth?
It is not uncommon for people to say that the world is unfair. While we often see that we reap what we sow, some believe that God allows us to needlessly suffer. But imagine how much more confusing it would be to connect our choices to what we sow without being on the earth? While not having a physical body might initially seem to be an advantage, once we lose sight of how to play well with others, it can easily work against us.
This concept becomes clear when we think about the limitations of life on earth as advantages. A major reason that we don’t run away from unpleasant events and people here is that we have a body and loved ones to care for. If not for self-preservation and our chosen responsibilities, we would gladly leave a job, a relationship, a group of people or even a community when life turns ugly. If we don’t have bodies to maintain, our own as well as our loved ones, then what holds us anywhere when the going gets rough?
A common challenge for us all occurs when we don’t realize that we have become the source of our problems. Have you ever known someone who never had a good boss, or every relationship they’ve had was with a faulty partner? Without a physical form, we can endlessly run away to other people in another realm only to find our problems followed us there. With an endless variety of realms in God’s “many mansions,” we can seemingly run away from ourselves forever while always blaming others for our misery. That misery would continue until “something” makes us pause just long enough to recognize that every cause has an effect and that we always reap what we sow.
Having a vulnerable human body with human companions along with the limitations that time and space offer against running away, we receive the gift of connecting our actions to what happens to us. We begin to see that if we want friends, we must be friendly. If we desire love in our lives, we must be loving. And most of all, we should always treat others as we desire to be treated. The choice is always ours to be as miserable, or as happy, as we want to be.