When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods,
and his heart was not entirely with the LORD, his God,
as the heart of his father David had been.
-1 Kings 11:4
(Totally misread the reading this morning and the misreading is what I meditated on. The passage sounds like it could mean either David's heart was not entirely with the Lord or David's heart was entirely with the Lord. Irregardless! I'm keeping it!)
Everyday I see how I am becoming more like my father. It is a bittersweet. I have his strengths like his humor, blunt nature, and his ingenuity but I have some of his negatives as well. I have similar mannerism, inflections in speech, and expressions he uses. It is not the positive that concerns me but the negative, obviously. I believe that the unresolved issues of the parent are inherited by their children. These issues keep playing out and can cause some self-destructive behavior in the child; we call this original sin. No one is born into a vacuum and since everything effects everything else, the child needs to resolve this or it will repeated again. We have the example of children whose parents have a drug addiction and the child is born with the very same drug addiction.
Many people will say, "How could this happen? Why would God let this happen? Why do the innocent suffer?" These question, though asked with the best intentions, do not really apply to this situation because the problem is sin. The problem is self-destruction. I think people do not want to believe that sin is THAT powerful; that sin has no real effect on us. In talking to people I hear a kind very scary philosophy:
Here is the good version of the philosophy,
"Things are not well right now but everything will work themselves out in the end."
Here is the very scary version of that philosophy,
"Since everything will work out in the end, I can do whatever I want."
Two VERY different approaches. The second one does not care about consequences and/or who they hurt. The second philosophy is lived out by people and everyone has to deal with these consequences. Everyone has the chance to change or as Jesus would say, repentance. We can end cycles of abuse, addiction, and self destruction, it is not easy, but it is very, very, possible. Jesus invites us to live a life-giving life by breaking all that binds us; by making a choice to change.