Who On Earth Made Me Like This? Class 8
Précis: To illustrate how personality is formed; examine the dynamics which mold man; the process of becoming.
Text: Deuteronomy 6:1-9
There is a tendency to see ourselves and others in terms of categories rather than continuum. We have all heard such judgmental statements as: “He is such a fat slob; She is a loud mouth; That long-haired hippy-freak; They are religious nuts; He is psycho; She’s a neurotic” and numerous other uncomplimentary terms. There are several reasons why such character judgment statements are reckless. Firstly, the observer is unqualified to make such an assessment, even if Jack is overweight. Second, the evaluation is superficial for it fails to take account of unseen factors like heredity, environment and spiritual forces. Thirdly, the observer cannot see into the future or accurately predict the individuals reactions under unexpected or specific circumstances. Fourthly, no one can determine growth patterns that alter individual characteristics.
Each one of us is in the process of becoming!
Viewing people in terms of categories is like placing objects into random boxes and casually storing them in unplanned places. There they sit. They never change. You eventually forget you own the object and should a vague recollection bring it to memory, you cannot recall what you did with it. Should a change in the object take place, there would be no way of knowing it. People must be seen in terms of continuum, that is, the process of becoming!
A dried out wino stood up to give his testimony at a local Rescue Mission. His succinct statement expresses this fact well, when he said “I’m not yet where I want to be, but I thank God I ain’t where I once used to be!”
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deut. 6:4-9)
It is easier to grow a boy than to mend a man!
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
Lesson: Who On Earth Made Me Like This?
8.1 Heredity – Exod. 20:5-6; Deut. 5:9-10
1. Definition: Herediturus = Heir-ship
2. Physical stature, gender, color,
3. Talents, abilities, biological predisposition
4. Traits and characteristics
8.2 Environment – Deut. 6:4-9, 11:18-25; Prov. 22:7
1. Definition: En + Viron = Circuit around me
2. Family, generations of predecessors, community
3. Culture, traditions, values, modus operandi
4. Preferences, tastes, mind-set
8.3 Spiritual Forces – Divine Influences – Phil. 2:13
1. Chosen by God the Father – Eph. 1:5; 2:10
2. Facilitated by God the Son, Jesus Christ – John 14:6
3. Wooed by God the Holy Spirit – 1 Cor. 12:3
4. A man can receive nothing except it be given him – John 3:27
8.4 Spiritual Forces – Demonic Influences – Eph. 6:10-17
1. Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about – 1 Pet 5:8
2. Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. – 2 Cor. 11:14
3. Paul reported that “Satan hindered us” – 1 Thes. 2:18
4. Saul and the Witch at Endor – 1 Sam. 28:3-19
From glory to glory He’s changing me, Changing me, changing me
His likeness and image to create in me, His love to show to the world
Rom. 12:1-2 … be transformed by the renewing of your mind
Matt. 17:2 …(Jesus) was transfigured before them
2 Cor. 3:18 we … are changed into the same image from glory to glory
met-am-or-fo’-o to transform, change, transfigure, “metamorphose”
The forces we willingly subject ourselves to, will determine the kind of person we will become. This is the import of Romans 6:13-14; Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.