Humans might have free will (yes, I believe that, I’m neither a calvinist nor a neuro-determinist), still they are quite weak too… We sometimes act on random impulses and are easily conditioned in doing stuff we shouldn’t do or not doing stuff we should do.
I’m not talking about big spectacular dangerous sins or serious addictions here. My biggest temptations lies more in things that come close to being nothing at all than in big evil sins… Sometimes I find myself irritatingly weak for example against all kind of ‘nothing-addictions’ when hanging around a computer that has an internet-connection (and facebook). Just wasting time is a big problem that I can’t afford, but it can be so compulsive, when I miss the energy to start what I should do, or miss the overview of the stuff I have to do, or just don’t have the attention to do anything not mindless… And then the meaningless click-an-surf-mode goes on, my time, energy and everything goes down the drain…
How can I solve this?
The problem here is discerning what the underlying problem is, and what just the symptom. I sometimes wish I could disconnect completely from the internet and facebook to free myself from these ‘nothing-addictions’, which is an impossibility for both my work and my social life. But still the idea lingers that everything would be different and that I would be doing more if I would be able to disconnect completely.
Which probably is mostly nonsense: at the moments that I’m productive I don’t fall into these kind of addictions at all, with internet on and facebook open… It’s only when I’m already distracted that they are out to get me… Moreover, I don’t think the internet is the main problem here, in an internetless life I would find other ‘nothing-addictions’… A very interesting article by Paul Miller, who did what I sometimes dream of and lived a year without the internet confirms what I already suspected… The problem lies not in the internet or facebook, and will never be solved by just disconnecting..
So I guess my real problem is battling my ADD and my overall lack of discipline, not the internet… I need to battle deeply ingrained patterns and to fight the false ideas of freedom that ‘not having to do anything’ is a form of freedom. There is no freedom in having to follow every stupid impulse, or in having to follow whatever comes your way. If that is freedom there can be no free will indeed. (And any form of humanism is impossible, since it’s nature that has by default won from the human being, just as Christianity is impossible, the flesh will always win.)
I do not believe in this determinism. Man may be a weak creature, but we do have free will! Even though it’s sometimes not strong enough against the other things that want to control us…
So here we come to the paradox: Only in self-control can freedom be found, otherwise you’re a slave to whatever impulse from inside or outside that comes your way.
Now that I realise this I know that I’ve been lazy all my life, and that I have to unlearn and relearn a lot of things. May God help me with this, I cannot do this alone… Wasn’t self-control one of the fruits of the Spirit? Where are those fruits [love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, see Galations 5:22] in contemporary Christianity anyway? Or are they not manly enough?