How can I not grow up to be like my parents?

“The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.” This old adage is often true. A hurricane, however, can blow a nut hundreds of miles from where it grew.

The Human Genome Project has mapped the genetic code. God, however, wrote it, and knows exactly what makes you tick. He is not some arbitrary scientist that is running a cruel experiment with you. Knowing that you are not perfect, He lovingly wants to keep you from drowning in your gene pool. Be encouraged, though, it’s not just your gene pool; everybody struggles with their nature of sin (Romans 3:23).

It is true that sins and sinful tendencies may be passed from generation to generation. Exodus 34:7 says a father’s transgressions are visited upon “the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.” Conversely, though, God shows “mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6). You may have your parents’ genetics, but you were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26).

Whether you come from a wonderful family or a troubled home, you should not aspire to live according to your genes. You should aspire to mirror the image of your Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). If you are disappointed in your family tree, let God whisk you away and graft you into the Vine (John 15:1-4).

Taken from Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column. Used by permission. 2001, The Commercial Appeal.