I have had the same discussion with several people today and have yet to come anywhere near a conclusion, and I actually don't know that I will ever come to a conclusion. I have struggled and wrestled with the ideas of Predestination and Free Will ever since I first heard that it was an issue way back in my freshman year of college. Some days, I feel like I have the answer or at least the answer I can live with, but then the next day, it all gets fuzzy and confusing. I know that God does not cause confusion, and perhaps this is an issue thought up by Satan to throw a wrench in every Christian's thought process. I don't actually believe that, but it's my blog and I can say whatever I want! I do believe when discussing this issue with others, it must be out of love and understanding and should never cause division, because Satan could use these types of discussions as a stumbling block.
Having said that...
I believe I have figured out my biggest issue behind predestination. I struggle believing in predestination, because I struggle with God's love for me. In order for God to choose me, he would have to love every dirty part of me. Don't get me wrong, I know God loves me unconditionally, and He loves me despite my sin and filth; however, getting that knowledge from my head to my heart is a constant conflict. Unconditional love is a hard concept for me to grasp, because in my life love has frequently been used as a tool for manipulation. I had to be perfect in order to receive love, which is why I'm a perfectionist and why I work very hard to get people to like me. I also work hard to get God to like and accept me. I know Christianity and salvation is not works based, but it is an issue in my life. I feel more comfortable saying that I chose God the day I was saved than saying that He chose me above someone else to share in the glory of heaven. Why am I more worthy for Heaven and God's graces than someone else? I have several other issues concerning predestination, but the main one seems to be my struggle with God's unconditional love for me. This may not make any sense, but it's something I'm working through with my Savior guiding me.
1 month ago