How is it that we innately always seem to know right from wrong, even when we freely choose to move in the direction of wrong? For example, how is it that I innately know that it is wrong to take a life of another? I don’t need to refer to the Fifth Commandment; nor do I need to have a civil law on the books to know that taking the life of another human being is just flat out wrong. The answer lies in God’s Natural Law, a law that is infused into the hearts of every man at birth.
Natural Law: What is it?
Natural law is the participation of man in the plan of God. It is the objective order established by God that determines the requirements for people to thrive and reach fulfillment, enabling man to ‘discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie.’ 1
God is all good. He wants only what is best for each of us. He has a plan and calls us to participate in His plan. God, as our Creator, established what is acceptable versus unacceptable behavior; what is good and what is evil; what is right and what is wrong. It is through our reason and intellect that we innately know how to decipher these concepts.
Natural Law: What role does it play?
How does this happen? Well, you know that inner voice that speaks to you? That voice that warns you, or, gives you peace, depending on your decision. Well, that’s your conscience informing you about the goodness or evil of your decision. How does that inner voice seem to know so much? Where does that judgment come from? That inner voice is the Holy Spirit, giving us error-free guidance by using our consciences to communicate with us.
Sometimes though, we choose to ignore that inner voice, and that’s when we get ourselves into trouble. When this happens, we disassociate ourselves from God’s plan. We go our own way alone. We defy the objective order, and then things don’t work out so well. God sees the big picture, and we do not. He knows the obstacles in our future; we do not. He knows what is best for us and what actions we should take to fully participate in His plan. Since He only wants what is best for us, we should listen to Him.
Next time you hear that inner voice, listen up! God is trying to tell you something. If you want what is best for yourself, then listen to your conscience and the error-free advice of the Holy Spirit. Stick to the plan! You’ll be glad you did!
1 Armenio, Peter V. Our Moral Life in Christ, College Ed. Woodridge: Midwest Theological Forum. Print. 2009. p. 6.
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