Why does God give grace to people if He(God) knows certain people will not cooperate with his grace?


#1

Why does God give grace to people if He(God) knows certain people will not cooperate with his grace?

Every good work is due first to God’s grace, but the person must cooperate with that grace to do the good work.

For example, what if a person had car touble and pulled over to the side of the road… does God give grace to every person who passes that car? Until eventually someone will cooperate with the grace and help the person with car trouble?

If what is in bold is true, then why does God give grace to people He knows that they will refuse to cooperate with it?


#2

Yes, but I wouldn’t associate not stopping do to a lack of grace. There are several factors. For one, if it is on the freeway with many people on it something called the bystander effect will happen. Everyone just assumes someone else will stop since there are so many people. Also, on the freeway where everyone is going 75 it is not likely someone will see this person stopped on the road in time to react and by the time they realize they did, it would be too dangerous not to just keep proceeeding on forward. They are not going to turn around since the bystander effect once again applies.

If it is on a road in the middle of nowhere, it is probably similar to the Good Samaritan story. However, if one has a family in the car or something where it might be dangerous to stop (it ia always dangerous to stop in the middle of nowhere for someone) it might just be better to call 911 or something and alert them to the situation. I personally fall into the category of assuming everyone has a cell phone so they will call for help on it already and therefore don’t need my help and I don’t know anything about cars anyways. Oh, and when my engine blew I guess it was nice for people to come see if I needed help but I was more embarrassed and just wanted AAA to get there and get me out of there so no one else would bother me.


#3

I think it’s possible to hold either belief in this matter. That God offers his grace to every person, or that he only offers it to those whom he knows will respond. Since God is omniscient the end result is exactly the same.

Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.


#4

My theory: since Jesus is 100% human, as part of his human-ness, Jesus has voluntarily renounced omniscience. The grace that is given to humans by “God” is given to humans not by God the Father directly, but by God the Son.

So, God the Son’s non-omniscience means that the giver of grace (God the Son, most directly) does not know whether someone will cooperate with the grace given or not.

Case closed.

Problem solved.

Time to have a beer.


#5

Huh? This is not Catholic teaching.


#6

Because God is love. The scripture says,

“… he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (Mt 5:45)

God’s love is perfect, he loves both the righteous (God’s friends) and the unrighteous (God’s enemies).

“For if you love (only) those who love you, what reward do you have?” (Mt 5:46)

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:48)


#7

Church teaching is that sufficient grace is offered to all. To deny this would be the heresy of Jansenism or Calvinism.


#8

Yup, God loves us perfectly and so gives all good things to all of us. Just like a parent gives good things to all their children, although they know the children won’t always be perfect or use what they’re given wisely.


#9

If you saw someone starving, you would get them something to eat, simply because of Charity. His grace and goodness, righteousness far surpasses any cooperation on our part. He just Is.
That’s my totally unqualified answer.

(as far as the car example, I’m too afraid to pull over, being a woman with 4 kids in my van…it could be a staged kidnapper or something. God help me if I ever need roadside assistance!)


#10

Let me ask a question…do you believe in free will? Why would God create us except to freely choose him? It seems a little tyrannical for God to force us to do good.

If you meant that we can do nothing except by God’s grace, I agree with you, but if you’re saying that our cooperation plays no role at all, then I must disagree.


#11

Good answer.

SK


#12

:smiley: :thumbsup:

In all seriousness, that’s a very interesting theory. One that could actually be true.

CB, what portion of it contradicts Catholic teaching? If you’re thinking of the part that suggests that Jesus is still setting aside his omniscience today, there are a few things that suggest that this may be true, including a very intriguing verse from Scripture that I will try and track down if you’d like… (No, it’s not the one from the gospels about only the Father knowing the day and time of the Son’s return. It’s found later in the NT somewhere…I’ll have to back and look.)

SK


#13

Jesus is God.

God is omnipotent.

Therefore, Jesus is omnipotent.

Jesus’ humanity in no way degrades or adds to His divinity. This is the teaching of the Catholic Church.

In love,

JD


#14

Couple points for discussion:

-The OP’s comment and my response were about a specific instance of grace leading to a good work, not grace sufficient to salvation.

-Where does the Church teach that God offers sufficient grace for salvation to those whom he knows would, by their own free will, reject that grace? I know this is not a question of Calvinism, and I doubt it’s a question of Jansenism, since the person’s free will choice is specifically respected, if before the fact. I know I have seen discussions that this is an allowable belief, so if it is not I’d like more convincing. It is not, BTW, my personal belief - I just can’t see any rejection of human free will in the belief.


#15

Yes I believe in free will, absolutely. I wish I could go back and correct my post.
I neglected to add the main point: that we would give/offer food, but the person themselves does not have to choose to eat it.
God supplies the grace but we can choose not to accept it.

Sorry I left out the last part in the other post. d’oh!


#16

I was just reading your question and today I was reading the beatitudes and for some reason they seem to me to apply to your question, they really made me feel good today. :slight_smile:


#17

The gift of life is a grace right? Grace is a sharing in God’s life, right? So our lives are a grace to us because we are created in the image of God. God blew into humans their souls, so He has given us this life.

So, God gave life to all those who He knew would mistreat the gift of life. Yet, He still created them. How would you feel if God didn’t give you the chance to live to the fullest, to His glory? How would you feel if God deemed you unworthy, in advance, of His mercy, unworthy of His grace? (Granted we are all unworthy, but meaning unworthy to the point of non-action on us, non-creation of us by God.) How would you feel even if God did this in one instance? If God decided not to give you the grace you needed, because you weren’t going to use it? I don’t know about you, but I would feel pretty unloved.

The fact of the matter is that the God we believe in- a Merciful and Loving God who is Good Himself- would never deprieve us of His grace for the simple reason of us not using it. A gift is still beautiful even if it is disregarded. Just like one user above said, a parent still gives their child gifts knowing that sometimes the child will misuse the gift. We know that God knows whether or not we will accept grace because he is all-knowing. But don’t we still ask Him in prayer for grace? Don’t we still ask for it, knowing sometimes we won’t act on it? So, how would we act if we knew that God didn’t give us grace if we wouldn’t use it? I would feel pretty lousy about that if it were true. I don’t think God would do that.

Think about it. Think of a child. He knows he should go do a good work, but is hesitant for selfish reasons (hypothetically). So his parent gives a hardy push. Yet the child really doesn’t want to do the work, so he still doesn’t do it.

Would it be just and loving of the parent to not give the push? No. Even if the parent knows for 95% sure that the child still won’t do the good, the parent still gives the push. The push still does something. The child can still reflect on it and use it in the future (in terms of principle). The parent does it to teach the child, to show the child that he loves the child.

These could be a few reasons for God still giving grace in such a circumstance.


#18

Why does the Father yearn for the prodigal son?


#19

Along those lines:

Jesus is God.

God is the Father.

Therefore, Jesus is the Father.

(:eek:)


#20

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