Parents and Children
“Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor children be put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.” 2 Ch. 25:4
I am my father’s son and, in some way, he was the cause and I am the effect. Well, to be more exact, he and my mother were the instruments by which I was created and, of course, the Lord was the Creator. Therefore, he has to be responsible for what I have turned out to be as a person.
This logic can only go so far and, if we trace all things back to their source, we will inevitably discover who stands at the farthest end of the spectrum. The Lord himself is all-everything, so he must be all-responsible as well.
I can be responsible for what I have done, yet I should not be held accountable for the inner factors that cause me to commit all outward actions, should I? Obviously, this seemingly logically argument breaks somewhere along the line. We are moral beings who are capable of making moral choices, and we must be held accountable for all the choices we have ever made.
I seem to have been predisposed to some weaknesses determined by the genes I have received from my parents; yet this does not alter that fact that I am the one who makes all the moral choices, whether to please the Lord or to gratify my sinful nature. Punishment of sin can only be possible if there are choices involved in the process of doing evil.
I can no longer blame my parents for all my issues, which I seem to have a strong inclination to do, for I have a choice not to live under the shadow of my parents’ influences, be they physical or spiritual in nature, and I will be rewarded if I always choose right.
Surely, the Lord will take all the factors involved, both genetic and environmental, when he judges each one of us. I suppose he who overcomes more will be rewarded more. It does take more effort for some people to remain pure and holy than for others; and the pace of sanctification varies from one to the other, and they will be judged justly and accordingly.
No matter how much effort we have put into becoming more like Christ, we are yet to do our very best, and there will always be room for improvement. Perhaps we will be judged by the effort we have put into the endeavor, not by the progress we have made. If a comparison must be made, for certain I will be compared with myself, not with others, and see how much improvement I have achieved from what I was and what I am now.
I suppose there is at a least a tiny difference between the two and a slight improvement has been made by my effort, I hope.