“Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee – Thy will (not mine) be done.’ These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is proper use of the will.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, p.85
Translation: I can use my self will until I’m blue in the face… to do God’s will.
Why is it so difficult to understand the difference between self will and God’s will? Every time people discuss some horrible tragedy, someone always asks, “Golly gee, why did God let this horrible tragedy happen!?” Acts of horror have nothing to do with God’s will. Acts of abuse and violence are purely an act of self will, not God’s will. God’s will involves listening to and following our conscience. And yes, we do have one, except for the sociopaths and psychopaths. It is that visceral feeling we experience when we see, hear, or do something wrong and harmful. Where does it come from? Are we taught it? If so, then why does it occur on a cellular level?
If we are relatively normal anatomically and cognitively, we should have been born with an innate sense of justice, although some are probably just born evil. But our problem is our individual actions, choices and exposure to cultural decay after birth. The French existentialist philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, stated perfectly that our “existence precedes our essence” – we make ourselves who we are. Once we act wrong over and over again, once we get used to lying, stealing, manipulating and hurting self and others, our conscience takes a beating. To add insult to injury, we live in one very sick culture and de facto banana republic, but I won’t get into that right now or I’m sure to offend someone.
Self will is any word, thought or action that is negative and causes harm or damage to self or others. God’s will is any word, thought or action that is positive and causes love, wellness, growth or productivity to self or others. So it’s not that we can’t ever use our self will… it just depends how we use it. We can use our self will all we freaking want to in order to do God’s will.
Also see: Self Will vs God’s Will