Members of my family have distinct familial characteristics. The structure of our faces—our almond shaped eyes, the base of our noses, the distance between our brows. The similarities are uncanny. When my great grandmother was still living, there were five generations and each of us have several traits of an older generation. But physical features aren’t the only thing we have in common. We also share a resounding bellowing laughter, the love of the arts, and a deep passion for God and His people. Our genetic predisposition is passed down, and, in many cases, so are our habits, attitudes, and way of life.
The biological term epigenetic relates to shifts in our heritable genetics which can be impacted by a change in lifestyle. Not only do I get my dimples and hearty laugh from my family, but traits like high blood pressure have been passed down, too. I won’t go into the history of why that is, but knowing that that is an issue for many members of my family has been the catalyst for the change I’ve implemented in my behaviors, diet and activities. I am trying (and have been successful so far) to positively impact things that were passed down to me generation after generation.
King Josiah’s forefathers had distinct characteristics, too. In 2 Kings 21, we read about Josiah’s grandfather Mannaseh, who “reintroduced all the moral rot and spiritual corruption that had been scoured from the country” (v2 MSG). And Josiah’s father Amon, “in God’s opinion lived an evil life, just like his father” (v20 MSG). The similarities between Manasseh and Amon were uncanny and after Amon’s short reign and imminent death, Josiah was made king.
Being made king at such a young age, Josiah could have continued the legacy of his father and grandfather. The examples before him were of men he had familial ties to and similar genetic characteristics of—yet he made a shift from the wicked ways that could have continued to be passed down from generation to generation. With his behaviors and activities focused on God, he was able change the narrative for his life. “Because you responded in humble repentance… God’s word: I’ll take care of you” (2 Kings 22:18). Josiah was zealous in his commitment to obedience., focusing on restoring the worship of the one true God.
Reflection: In these precarious times, what is at the center of your personal shift? Will it impact positive change for the kingdom of God?
To view the sermon that inspired this post, go here.
by Danielle Boardley
Danielle, along with her husband Dominic and children, moved to NJ in April 2014 and began attending Kingsway shortly thereafter. Quickly accepting the invitation to go through Growth Track, they learned more about the church, their spiritual strengths, and landed on the Worship Arts team. Danielle values spending quality time with her family and finding ways to express herself creatively. Joining the Kingsway blog team was yet another exciting opportunity to serve through creative expression. Her love of writing began in her youth when she was introduced to the works of Maya Angelou. Inspired by her prose, Danielle published a book of poetry in 2007.