Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Like Father, Like Son, Etc...

My Grandpa, Raymond Smith

Recently, I was looking at some old family photos. When I came across a picture of my father’s father, taken when he was just a little younger than I am now, it really surprised me. The physical resemblance was remarkable. When I think about it, there are times when I not only look like my grandfather, but I act like him as well.

Each of us carries with us elements of our parents, grandparents, and great-great-great-grandparents in our genetic code. Sometimes that's good, and sometimes it's not so good. We take the hand we're dealt.

Like every human being on the planet, Raymond Baker Smith was a mixture of good and bad. There were some fantastic things in that guy's personality, and some less than fantastic things. When I remember him, there are some things that make me laugh, and some things that make me angry. I'm sure it will be that way when my grandkids remember me.

What I can say is this: My Dad is a heck of a lot better father than his father was. (Hats off to you, Dad!)

I also hope my kids will say that I am a heck of a lot better father than my father was. (No offense to you, Dad!)

In like manner, I hope my grandkids say that my sons are a heck of a lot better fathers than I was. (Gosh--I just offended myself!)

My point is this: Each of us has the opportunity to do better or worse than our parents. In my family, we tend to improve with each generation. (If we didn't, I'd be worried.) In terms of genetics, we take the hand we're dealt. But in the choices of life, we're the dealers. We choose to improve or we choose to worsen. 2 Chronicles 25:4 says, "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sins." This means that in both the good and the bad, God only holds us responsible for us. God doesn't judge us according to our parents, and God doesn't judge our children according to us. Each of us has choices to make, and each of us is responsible for those choices.

So what will it be for you?

Like father, like son?
Like mother, like daughter?


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