Jill Jarrell Newsome
DNA...Blessing Or A Curse
Recently I had a conversation with someone about handing things down to our children. I was thinking about a cancer gene but it could also be anger, addiction, depression and the list goes on. This person asked me - knowing that it is part of my dna - do I consider having cancer a curse or a blessing? I quickly answered, "a blessing!" Don't get me wrong - I do not want to go through that again. It was the toughest year filled with more blessings than I can count. As I thought about his question I know I have been handed down healthy spiritual dna for generations. So while that was a tough year, my faith got me through and God increased my faith tremendously through suffering. As hard as that year was, I would not change that part of my journey. The suffering was for a little while but the blessings are for eternity! 1 Peter 5: 10, "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."
According to the dictionary DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material which is present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information. We all know that things like height, weight, hair color, and complexion, tend to run in families. Our families have the greatest influence on our development, including the development of our sin patterns such as certain types of sin that can be passed on from generation to generation. Addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, physical abuse, sexual abuse become ingrained in the psychological legacy of some families. The Bible says that these curses are tied to choices. Deuteronomy 30: 19, "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." We can either choose life and blessing or death and cursing.
There is a lot of good news. You do not carry the sins of your father or mother. Ezekiel 18: 20, "The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them." Ezekiel 18: 2, "What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “‘The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? In verses 3-4 God responded, “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die."
Our family tree stretches way back - way back to Adam and Eve. The curse of sin has been passed on from generation to generation with the first being Adam. Because Adam fell from grace it effected generations. Romans 3: 23, "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 10: 13, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." If you believe in Jesus, you are in Christ through faith. God will graft us into a righteous family tree. (Romans 11: 11-24)
I can guarantee you that we have all handed down things that we feel would be better ending with us. Even the things we think are negative can be used for God's glory. We think it would be nice to pick and choose every detail of dna for our children but we would miss out on a lot of blessings and God's plans. God taught me so much during that year! And not only for me - it showed my children what I had been taught through generations - living by faith.
While diseases and what we think are negative things can be handed down so can our spiritual DNA. If we hand down faith to our children - no matter what they go through - they will have joy. Joy is an all knowing that God is in charge. Just as my grandparents handed down faith for generations I pray Mike and I will continue handing that dna down...for generations!