‘Do not let sin control the way you live.’ Romans 6:12 NLT
When someone says, ‘I can’t help myself; it’s just the way I am,’ they are right, but only partially right! Researchers identified more than a hundred identical twins who had been separated at birth. They were raised in various cultures, religions and locations. By comparing their similarities and their differences it became clear that as much as 70 percent of their personality… was inherited. Their DNA determined such qualities as creativity, wisdom, loving-kindness, vigour, longevity, intelligence, and even the joy of living. Consider the ‘Jim twins’ who were separated until they were 39 years old. Both married women named Linda, owned dogs named Toy, suffered from migraine headaches, had wood-working shops in their garages, drove Chevys and served as sheriff’s deputies. Their personalities and attitudes were virtual carbon copies.
What do these findings mean? Are we puppets on a string, playing out a predetermined course without free will or personal choices? Not at all. Unlike animals, we’re capable of rational thought and independent action. We don’t have to act on every sexual urge, for example, despite our genetic underpinnings. Heredity may nudge us in a particular direction, but our impulses can be brought under control. This is where the new birth comes in. God gives you a new nature, and the power to overcome your old one.
Paul addresses it: ‘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.’ (Romans 6:12–13 NLT)