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Episode 12 of Kindavangelical just released! The Art and Joy of Civil Conversation

Your Nature or Your Nurture?

Love among men is awakened by something in the beloved. But the love of God is free, spontaneous, unevoked, uncaused. God loves men because he has chosen to love them. —J. I. Packer

Believe it or not, there is a controversy going on that is even older than whether we should sing more hymns or more choruses in church. It’s the “nature vs. nurture” debate. There’s a lot of discussion in our culture about why people do the things they do, especially bad things. (For some reason, they don’t seem to be too concerned when humans actually do good things.)

Some say it’s the way we were nurtured: parents, people, and environment determine how we turn out. Others say it’s our nature: our genetic, physical, mental makeup determines whether we will be naughty or nice this Christmas season. Trust me, it’s one of the oldest debates on the planet and if you dwell on it too long, your head is bound to explode.

I say, “Time out! Let it go! What difference does it make if it’s nature or nurture?” Once we become Christians and are placed in Christ, we get that new heart—the new nature. But that new nature needs to be nurtured as well. Amazingly, we now live in the family of the best nurturer in the universe.

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are! (1 John 3:1, The Message)

So get this: He’s given you a new nature, and now, as His kid, He’s going to perfectly nurture you so that you can walk in His righteousness. You have the heart. You have the Father. What’s left to debate?

My awesome, perfect Father, I receive the love that You are extending to me! Thanks for my new nature in Christ. I entrust it to You now. I give You full access and full permission to nurture me as no human could ever do. Amen.

Dig deeper into what it means to have a new identity in Christ. Watch Pete’s series Identity Defined here >

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