“Self control is the exercise of inner strength under the direction of sound judgment that enables us to do, think, and say the things that are pleasing to God.”
Jerry Bridges

“Two of the four protein tests are abnormal. The combination of the two could mean you have Lynch Syndrome, which makes you more prone to have colon cancer. I recommend genetic counseling.”

As my oncologist explained the pathology report to me, these thoughts swirled around in my head. I guess I may not be done with my cancer scenario. I don’t want to pass this genetic inclination down to my kids.

I willingly went and saw a genetic counselor since my dad had colon cancer. A month later I got the results and thankfully they were negative.

The study of heredity is known as genetics. Family history makes us aware of our heredity, what has been transferred to us. Some things are obvious, while others are transmitted without our knowledge. Genetics is something we don’t have control over.

But what traits am I passing down to my kids that I do have power over? What positive strengths or negative influences in my life are caught by my daughter and son? What risks, benefits, or limitations am I intentionally or unknowingly handing down to future generations? My self-control or lack of it, determines what my offspring will receive.

Self control is the power over oneself. It’s “the ability to exercise self-restraint over one’s feelings and reactions.” Some people are born with self-discipline and others, like myself, need to rely on the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 25:28 in The Message, says, “A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.” Not having self-control leaves us vulnerable, unprotected, and defenseless.

I’m acutely aware of my inability to do things in my own strength and I need God’s help. The key to overcoming my sinful desires is to live by the promptings and power of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, live (walk continually) by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

I can’t control my genes but I do have power over my attitudes and actions that may influence my children and their children. My level of self control ultimately has an impact on others. I hope it’s godly genes and heredity that I pass down to my offspring


“As I become Spirit-controlled, I become self-controlled, and I am enabled to respond in ways that please the Lord.”
Cynthia Heald

Relevant Reflections:
1. What are you intentionally or unintentionally passing down to your kids and future generations?
2. In what area do you need more self-control? Ask God for His help.

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2 Responses to Heredity

  1. Deb Mellema says:

    Norma, this blog and Reflections has been such a blessing to me!! Thank you for mentoring me from afar so many years ago. It was a pivotal time for me. And thank you for following God in mentoring the masses! God touches me with insight, wisdom, revelation and encouragement as I read from day to day, challenging me to go deeper. Blessings on you and your ministry as you continue to follow your heavenly Dad.

    • nldonovan says:

      Thank you Deb for your kind words of encouragement. You are so welcome. There is no better place to be than doing what the Father wants. So glad we’re in the same small group!

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