God laid down laws, instructions and
exhortations for us to freely choose. We are free and the complete
master of everything we do. We can choose to grow evil by neglecting
the development of virtues OR be holy by striving towards virtue.
God can only scare us with punishment or attract us with the hope of
eternal life. But the choice is ours.
Even while relating to others we show
we believe man has free will. So we punish the slave who steals and
drag to court the wife who commits adultery.
When you do something stupid you are
ashamed because you know you could have chosen better. And you are
angry when accused unjustly of being an adulterer or fornicator
because you are being accused of having chosen ill.
That we cannot help ourselves doing
certain things is a myth...if not outright nonsense. Our lives are
not governed by fate. Everything I do, I choose to do.
St. John Chrysostom (PG56, 282)