Where did evil come from? That is a good question. And my answer may surprise you. Love created the possibility for evil to exist, namely God’s love. Evil would not exist if God had not given some of his creatures the freedom to choose between loving him and turning away from him.
God could have limited himself to creating very simple beings that functioned essentially as machines. He could have programmed them to say things like, “I love you,” and to behave according to a strict code of ethics. I think it obvious, however, that the satisfaction level would be extremely low. There could be no real reciprocating love. There could be no real loyalty and honor. There could be no real worship. There could be no real depth to our life experience.
God created the possibility for evil. Some may question God’s wisdom in doing that, but let’s not forget what the alternative would have been. The world would certainly be a better place without evil. But the world would not be a better place without the possibility for evil. God gave you and me the freedom to reject him or embrace him. With this freedom came the possibility for evil and for real love. Was it worth it? God thought so.
C. S. Lewis described evil as a “parasite,” deriving its life from good. Without good, there could be no evil. Good can exist without evil, but evil cannot exist without good. Good made the choice to allow the possibility of evil. Evil would never have made the same choice.
What do we make of a God who loves us enough to allow evil to exist so that he can express his love for us and give us the opportunity to express our love for him? I think that is the kind of God I can love, and the kind of God who deserves my love.