May years ago, in college, there was a great debate on what makes a person who they are; was it genetics or environment? One school of thought said a person becomes what they are because of genetics. A person is the sum of the gene pool that they come from. The other school believed that a person is the result of the environment they lived in. Was it nature or nurture?
In the discussions most people would finally say that it was a combination; then the argument would turn to percentages. How much of each was involved and which was of more importance.
I think there is a third factor – the future. A person is who they are, or more correctly what they are becoming partly because of genetics; partly because of the environment; and largely because of what they believe about the future. A person that believes in a bright future approaches life differently than a person who has a bleak outlook.
A growing part of me is determined about how I see the future. I believe that Jesus will return to the earth and establish God’s Kingdom. I believe that’s the promise to all that believe in their heart and confess with their mouth.
That belief has a determining factor in who I am now, and what I am becoming.
In the Bible book of Matthew, in chapter 5, Jesus says that certain people are blessed now for what they will receive in the future. It isn’t that they will be blessed, but they are blessed. They aren’t in blessed situations, but they are blessed in anticipation of what they will receive. That is the power of hope. That is the power of the future that changes things now.
Being salt and light in the world means that I recognize my present blessed position in anticipation of future realities. There is no denying my genetic makeup. I am also sure that the environment I grew up in impacted me. But a powerful force influencing me now is my belief and hope concerning the future.
Maybe that is what seeking the Kingdom of God first is all about.
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