Love your eye colour? Maybe it’s blue, green, or brown like mine’s? Whether it’s your nicest feature or that unflattering quirky “something” that you dislike about yourself, there’s no doubt that you’ve inherited features, traits and characteristics that are rooted in your DNA. Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid that’s steeped in your genes. I’ve made peace with my slightly bent middle fingers which I’ve passed on to my daughter. Not that she cares whether one finger is not as perfect as the others. She has far too many beautiful things going for her to appreciate daily.
Yesterday I caught a brief clip on Chinese cooking on The Talk show. The hosts, Julie Chen and Sheryl Underwood, were sautéing the ingredients in the woks, under the direction of a guest cook, and the incorrigible Sheryl was having a bit of a challenge turning the greens. Julie who was working on the meats etc, offered to switch woks. As Julie expertly tossed the greens, the guest cook complimented her efforts. To which Julie, who is of Chinese descent, replied with gusto, “It’s in my genes.”
From that moment, I’ve been thinking about the influence of DNA on our outlook, tastes and passions. And the parallels to our spiritual image. The Scripture tells us in Psalm 51:5 that we are born and shaped in sin. That means that the desire and attraction to sin is a natural draw because it is ingrained in our thoughts and habits. In our DNA. But before you take this as a license to sin, or get discouraged because you feel you can never conquer that bad habit, read on. Willpower alone cannot change habits. Transformation is needed. And this is found in a new life in Christ. Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again.”
Jesus knew that the DNA in you and I is only formed at birth, and since our physical birth contained the defective DNA of sin, another birth was mandatory in introduce a pure DNA. And so when we invite Jesus into our hearts, that is called the spiritual birth, and contains genes infused with the traits and habits of our God. Truth, holiness, purity, goodness, faithfulness, love, peace, joy, hope, virtue, humility… This is why you can rise above your natural desires and pursue the higher calling, take the high road, live victoriously. Because of grace. Because of the new birth. Because the DNA of the Father, Son and Holy Spirits transforms you.