GENES, ENVIRONMENT, AND GOD’S PLAN
It would seem that pretty much from day one, there have been arguments as to which of the above have been more formative in shaping who we are. Each position tries to prove which is most significant.
Setting God aside for the moment; we could make the case for our genetic make up bearing upon many of our physical characteristics; Uncle Charlie’s nose; Mom’s red hair… and the like. Just as we can say our life situations and experiences predispose us to certain behaviors; good, bad, or indifferent. The other side of the coin; we tend to mimic behavior of those about us.
The relevance of these distinctions came to me in a discussion with my youngest son, father of a 30 year old girl, who has wandered off into a lifestyle and state of mind that dangerously contradicts her strong Christian up bringing
I would not be laboring these points, except for the fact that Kirk (my son) has changed his mind about things to the extent that he now believes that behavior is governed by ” 10% environment and 90% heredity. I countered with a 60/40 split, giving environment the larger impact. He is a very educated man. I have done O.K with early efforts in Psychology, and fathering four children.
My view became; that his conclusion was based upon his move into self denial, wanting little or no responsibility for the downturn in behavior,
As it develops, after considerable research on my part, the ratio seems unquestionably about 50/50. The most convincing summary was a recent study of some 1700 identical twins over a period of 10 years, that bears that out..
The truth is, as they put it “They also play on each other” which makes each case unique. Well, so much for the scientific part of it. We were both wrong. But, is there another element or force that comes into play that cannot fall directly into either class? Of course there is!
The old denial is ” the devil made me do it” suggesting that a force outside has influenced my decisions. That God has been contradicted.
If that is possible, then the plan that God developed for us has been violated, and it is a matter of choices we make. None of this has to do with heredity or environment.
Can we assess blame to parents beyond failure to present options and consequences, or somehow standing in the way of God’s plan?
The best that we can do is as Moses suggested in Exo 18:20; “And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shall show them the way they must walk and work they must do.”
Having done that to the best of our ability, it remains in God’s hands..
And a little love and forgiveness can’t hurt.