The Problem with Genetics

by Mark T. Hancock · 0 comments

My two boys have taught me how much genetics influences who we are. I had to face it. Nature (God-creation) contributes to character and giftings as much as nurture.

When I was a Psychology student, my leanings were to the Behaviorist Camp, which puts so much emphasis on cause and effect and environmental contributions to who we are and why we are who we are.

But I can’t deny that my two boys, raised in the same home under very similar circumstances, influences, etc. are dramatically different. And they always been. As infants they handled sleep and eating different. Little tiny (but significantly different) attitudes towards everything that was in their little tiny world.

So what do we do with this? Are we stuck with who we are?

Clearly not. We can make remarkable changes in our attitudes and deep adjustments in our personalities when we encounter forces of influence that are greater than ourselves.

Some of these forces will require change – like strict family systems, or extreme governmental controls. Over time, these can account for differences in entire people groups who, although it sounds prejudicial, behave differently from each other.

My adventures over the past few years into a number of countries and cultures has shown me that, in fact, people behave differently in different cultures. They even think differently, process ideas differently, and react to change differently. Nurture responses.

Some of these forces will coax us into change and show us how we can change and what that change might mean.

Our own experiences with God are of this sort. He invites us to change.

When it comes to character, we should focus on our weaknesses – and pursue growth and maturity there. When it comes to our giftings, we should focus on our strengths.

Identify a character weakness and eradicate it. Identify a gifting and grow it. In this, I believe we are partnering with God in growing us up in to Him.

Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Click here for today’s Daily Bread.

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