From Chance to Choice

We've heard the sayings, 

“She get it from her momma.”
“He’s just like his daddy.”
“The apple doesn't fall to far from the tree”?

Is there any truth to these sayings? Does our gene pool determine who we will become in life or is there a bigger picture? I believe there is truth in these statements. And the Bible agrees, there is a bigger picture. If we have a proper perspective of the truth, what we can learn from these sayings can help us in seeing our utter need for Jesus, in seeing our need for deeper soul transformation, and in releasing us from the bondage of our past.

Our Gene Pool

Our gene pool (which is a complete set of genes called a genome) is all within our cells. In each cell is a complete set of instructions or pre-stored information. This information completely describes a human being. So, biologically speaking on a molecular level, your gene pool does predetermine some things about you as a person pre-birth—

(e.g. hair color, eye color, skin color, voice, height, nose, ears, gender [our sexual orientation is determined pre-birth according to what sex we are born as; same-sex/homosexuality is a sexual preference/choice not an orientation/determined], etc).

So we can see from our gene pool that you do get some things from your momma and you are in ways just like your daddy.

But it goes deeper than your parents. Your biology is not by chance, but by God (Ps. 139:13-15).

Is It All Because of Our Genes?

Is who we are all because of our genes? No. Our genes do not predetermine who we, the person, will become in life—

(e.g. promiscuous, homosexual, hateful, racist, prejudice, conceited, or reserved, kind, helpful, hard-working, analytical, romantic, etc).

Our genes do not predetermine our character. Who we become in life is a combination of...

(1)our own choices (decisions that we make—the good, the bad, the ugly),
(2)our family of origin (i.e. how we were raised, our family environment growing up, and the family examples we saw growing up),
(3)the environment we lived around growing up (neighborhood, school, friends, etc),
(4)sin (both ours and others), and last but not least
(5)God (Ps. 139:16).

It is these five things that play the largest part in who a person becomes, whether in the negative sense or the positive.

So we can see that there is no chance in who you are. You are who you are by bio-molecular choice, yours and other's choices, and God's choice. And each of these choices has an ultimate destination in God's sovereign plan.

The Bigger Picture

"And He  made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] {i.e. Adam/one biological and spiritual gene pool} all nations  of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes), so that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:26-27, AMP, with my added emphasis)

We've all gone through what we've gone through, both good and bad, to detour us to Jesus. And who we are in the grand scheme of things is either a child of Adam or a child of God. We don't have to do anything to become a child of Adam. We are already Adam's offspring, born from his seed (biological and spiritual gene pool), and thus his sin and it's penalty is imputed (legally and rightfully charged/billed) onto us (Rom. 5:12-19, 1Cor. 15:21-22). This is who we are without Christ. However, if we follow God's detour in our life and come to Jesus and become born-again, we're then born of Jesus's seed (spiritual gene pool) and His righteousness is imputed onto us. In Adam we are not free to become anything other than a child of Adam, or as Paul says in Ephesians 2:3, a child of God's wrath. Regardless to how great, horrible, or somewhere in-between of an upbringing you've had, life you've lived, choices you've made, and so on, in Adam there is no freedom. You are pre-set as a sinner and accounted for sin's penalty. That is your lot in life. But in Christ we are free (Gal. 4:21-31) to become something new (2Cor. 5:17), healed and whole, and something so much greater than we can imagine (Eph. 3:20-21)! 

"Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God's Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete." (2Cor. 1:20-22, Msg)

This becoming something new is called regeneration, and this becoming something so much greater than we can imagine is called sanctification. In Christ we do not have to remain the same! We can become so much more!

Life is not about what we can obtain or achieve or how much pleasure we can experience or becoming famous, rich, or someone of significance. Life is about either being sin's puppet and paying sin's penalty, or becoming like the God who left His throne, came to earth, put on this fragile flesh, and gave His life to redeem us from sin and its penalty. Life is about either fostering and nurturing characteristics and values to no avail. Or, life is about fostering and nurturing characteristics and values towards us being a demonstration of Jesus in a lost and hurting world so He can heal, restore, and transform our lives first and then through us more lives like ours, and also receiving an eternal reward—the reward being our God saying to us "Well done, thy good and faithful servant". This is what life is about becoming or else you have missed out on true life, and true life more abundantly.

Your Choice

Who you become in life is not by chance but who you choose to become, and who you become in life will reflect to whom you belong: sin or Jesus, bondage or promise.

"When he [Jesus] died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living." (Rom. 6:10-18, NLT)