It’s hard to escape discussions of inherited traits. “He has his father’s eyes.” “My whole family has a tendency to gain weight.” Insurance forms and medical documents ask about diseases common in our family backgrounds. Is there a better way to think about who we are than to resign ourselves to what seems our genetic destiny? My colleague, Wendy Margolese, writing for the March 27, 2017 edition of Mississauga.com, discusses recent research on genetics and then shares how a spiritual view of our “birthright” can dissolve the power of genetic codes and allow us more freedom and harmony. Here’s Wendy:
Does our genetic code determine who we are? Studies initially suggested we are our genes – we’ve inherited them. We can shrug off certain personal traits, such as a tendency towards obesity, because it’s part of our inherited nature. But with the advent of the science of epigenetics, new studies now suggest there are ways to alter the way genes behave and thus change that predetermined path.
According to the latest theories of this science, we can modify our genetic health patterns through lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. This may sound promising and appealing, particularly to many of us living in conditions that allow us to eat well and stay active. However, much of the world’s population does not necessarily follow a recommended diet, nor in many cases, have access to what is considered healthy lifestyle opportunities. This appears to create a disparity in having any hope of affecting the epigenetic calculation.
Yet, there is a way to view our heritage that does not leave us defenseless with what seems an undesirable genetic code or dependent upon lifestyle circumstances in order to experience good health.
As a student of the Bible, I am inspired by the view of our birthright as declared in Genesis that we are made in the image and likeness of God (Gen.1:26,27). This divine heritage ensures that our spiritual likeness expresses freedom from material confines or any limited potential….