Ragged Genes

genesSilly me, I thought the Washington Post article, “Cheating May Be in Your Genes” was speaking of unfairly playing a game.  You know, bending the rules to get an advantage; however, the focus is on cheating as in having an affair.  I guess that sounds a little nicer than calling it adultery or breaking one of the 10 Commandments.

According to research done by Brendan Zietsch at the University of Queensland in Australia, “an individual’s genetic makeup in general influences how likely he or she is to cheat.” The researchers at Queensland could have saved themselves a lot of time and money.  The answer to their hypothesis is in the Bible.  Ever since Adam and Eve messed things up in the Garden of Eden, 100% of men and women have been struggling with their desires and emotions.

Whenever a person, like these researchers, overlooks the obvious, I remember my old friend Ted and how he expressed his frustration.  His language in such instances was so razor sharp and electrifying he left the recipient of his diatribe shockingly bewildered.  His language was so colorful, it would make your teeter, totter.

My language won’t be nearly as graphic, but I will state the simple truth:  Your nasty sin nature wants you to wallow in the pig pen of life.  It lies to you, and tells you it’s okay to cheat, swindle, steal, and do whatever you feel like doing.  It’s the author of the bestseller: If It Feels Good, Do It.

Here’s a little secret:  It doesn’t make any difference whether you call it your genetic makeup, your DNA, or your sinful nature, you’re still responsible for your actions; and, there are consequences to your behavior.  Sin will always takes you farther than you want to go; it always promises more than it gives and, it always costs more than you want to pay.

It’s time to dial down the static noise and be emphatic about the truth:

  • When you cheat, you rob yourself of your character.
  • When you lie, you exist in a delusional environment.
  • When you steal, you rob yourself of your integrity.

If you will ask yourself these questions, they will help you temper your temptation:

  • Is 15 minutes of pleasure worth risking an eternity of joy?
  • Is the self-soothing value of false pretense worth losing the value of a good name?
  • Can I find genuine satisfaction and fulfilment in stealing something that belongs to another person?

Fortunately failure is not final, and you can learn this from the example of the Prodigal Son.  He was starving and stuffing “himself with the food the pigs were eating.  When he came to his senses he said, My father’s servants have more food than they can eat and here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go back to my father .’”

When you come to your senses, you can come back to your Father—He still loves you.

More Than A Smudge

fingerprint_scanThey do more than just give birth to dirty little smudges.  Your fingerprints are unique to you, and they are the means by which you are identified.  With the advance of technology, fingerprints are now being used as replacements for computer passwords and to unlock gadgets such as your smart phone.

The Office of Personnel Management has reported that in a recent cyber-attack, 5.6 million people’s fingerprints were stolen.  The Washington Post reported on the significance of this data theft:  “Breaches involving biometric data like fingerprints are particularly concerning to privacy experts because of their permanence: Unlike passwords and even Social Security numbers, fingerprints cannot be changed. So those affected by this breach may find themselves grappling with the fallout for years.”

Just as your fingerprints can’t be changed, neither can your spiritual identity once you join the family of God.  Have you ever given much thought about who you are in Jesus?

  • Ephesians 1:4: He has chosen you in Him and you are without blame before Him in love.
  • Ephesians 1:7: In Him you have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
  • Ephesians 1:11: You have an inheritance in Him.
  • Ephesians 3:12: You have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
  • Colossians 2:7: You are rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.
  • Colossians 2:10: You are complete in Him.

The words of the Psalmist are a fitting conclusion to this discussion:  “You are blessed because you have put your trust in Him (2:12).”

Remarkable and Wonderful Craftmanship

newborn-baby-on-hand_90311-1440x900With the popularity of TV programming that focuses on Crime Scene Investigation, people tend to think DNA is the best means of identifying a person.  Both fingerprint identification and DNA analysis have proved to be valuable tools for personal and criminal identification.

I’ve been told that fingerprint identification can be more accurate than DNA analysis.  This is true even with identical twins.  They may look exactly alike and have the same DNA structure, but they will always have different fingerprints.  Your fingerprints are unique because they are formed in the womb.  The random movements of a baby within the womb form the distinctly individual characteristics of each person’s fingerprints.

When you think of the uniqueness of your fingerprints, I hope it will remind you of the special relationship you have with God:  “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well (Psalm 139).”