Blessed Not Cursed

Blessed Not Cursed

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A guest post written by Kathie Kilgore

I recently saw an online ad for DNA testing that claimed to “show a quick look at what makes YOU.” While this kind of testing has certainly helped to resolve some of today’s problems, I’ve found that I don’t need to accept the evidence of DNA as a blueprint for my life.

Growing up, I heard interesting family stories about the loyalty, courage, and endurance of my kind, hard-working ancestors. Looking at old photographs, I felt as if I knew them, and I was proud of them and loved them. But along with the positive aspects, there were negative ones: tragic deaths, family illnesses, certain undesirable traits and tendencies, and a “curse” of accidents. Was I doomed to repeat these things?

When I was very young I attended a Christian Science Sunday School where I was taught the idea that each of us is perfect and good as the child of the one Father-Mother God. When I thought about the doom and gloom of my ancestors in the context of being a perfect child of God, I felt confident that I did not have to repeat the ills or sins of my ancestors after all. I could agree with Jeremiah, “…they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” (Jer. 31:29)

I found I was able to claim my God-given qualities such as joy, poise, intelligence, and peace instead of accepting traits of a bad temper, perfectionism, and anxiety. As a child I stopped slamming doors in a rage. In high school I orally defended a paper without falling apart. In college I maintained a high GPA without stressing out over tests. No longer shy, nervous, or overly serious, I became happier and more at ease with people, glorifying God in all that I did.

I was able to continue claiming not only my God-given qualities, but also my students’ God-given qualities, during my career as a classroom teacher – we were all free from the curse of hereditary repetition. I learned to be more patient and understanding, knowing that my students’ shortcomings and negative traits were nothing more than “baggage” that could be left outside on the steps. It was a privilege to witness improvements in behavior as well as academic progress.

Continuing to hold to this idea, I have found success in dealing with accidents and illness. As Mary Baker Eddy puts it in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “When speaking of God’s children, not the children of men, Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is within you; that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God’s image is unfallen and eternal.”

No one is doomed to repeat an ancestor’s sins. We are not cursed; we are blessed.

About the author

Guest We are pleased to present Notes from the Field authors, who are assistant committees and church members in the Southern California region; and Notes from The Mother Church authors, who are Committees from the United States and around the world, as well as the Federal Committee on Publication office.

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks, Kathie. What you say is so very significant and important. We certainly do not need to succumb to what our forebears may have experienced. Each of us is uniquely endowed by God, which we can claim and realize in practical ways.

  2. says

    Kathie, thank you for this clear and hopeful view of individual identity, along with specific ways in which you (and those in your circle)
    have benefited from your grasp of it.

  3. Mary Lou MacKenzie says

    I loved the idea that you were helping your students in the classroom by not attaching negative aspects to their learning ability. What a great help to them. Thanks so much.

  4. Evelyn Brookins says

    How helpful to glimpse a better model to follow than the so-called registry of ancestors. Jesus said “the kingdom of heaven is within you.” That surely replaces any other “kingdom.”

  5. Pamela says

    Thanks for this wonderful blog Kathie and how you look at your students. More teachers need to do this. My son teaches at a continuation high school where some of the kids are on probation, or have been kicked out of regular school for one reason or another and I told him once that he needs to see them in a different light, their true light. And I shared with him the real definition of DNA it is not just a material classification but can slao have a spiritual interpretation which stands for their Divine Nature Acknowledged. He liked that and reminds himself regularly of their true spiritual nature and has seen improvement in the classroom.

  6. Sheila says

    Thank you, Kathie – what a precious gift for your students.
    And thanks for all the comments, too.
    I love your sharing the definition of DNA as Divine Nature Acknowledged – an answered prayer, Pamela.

  7. says

    Hi Kathy!
    So good to read this! My best understanding of DNA is Does Not Apply, not to God or his ideas! We are all the “children of God by faith” as the Bible says! We do have faith in God through faith and understanding of the Christ. We are “subject to no lesser parentage” either! So great to see this today! Thank you!

  8. Tracy says

    Thank you so much for this post, Kathie! Belief in hereditary illnesses is certainly becoming more and more popular and we need to realize that the only inheritance we have is from God. Some wonderful ideas in this post! Thanks again!

  9. Anne Hughes says

    Thank you, Kathie. We have been enjoying a CD of hymns by the Newsong Group called “Gracenotes.” One of my favorites (hard to choose-I like them all) says, “…man is God’s own child…Man is the loved of Love” (Christian Science Hymnal #232). What a blessing to be assured that all our inheritance is from God, who loves us! Not only that, all of our relatives before or after are included in this blessing. So none of us has ever been stuck with a sad tale of woe.

  10. Joy says

    Wonderful progress through accepting and affirming the presence of spiritual qualities, which rule out negative ones “slamming doors”, fear, limitations of all kinds.

  11. Anne says

    I too loved the definition of DNA equaling Divine Nature Acknowledged. An excellent thought to remember.

    While most people don’t want to inherit the negative qualities of their ancestors, they often show great pride in the outstanding qualities that appear in ongoing generations. I’ve learned to see that all of the good a family member expresses originates in God, the one Mind. Each one develops these qualities in his/her own unique way, and the source is always from God.

    I’ve found that thinking this way lifts the responsibility away from self and generates gratitude for what God has created. Then arrogance and superiority become DNA – do not apply!

    Thank you for this stimulating blog.

  12. Brant Marsh says

    Qualities Of A Good Person – Show Kindness To All People The Bible instructs us to give to those in need – that is one of the qualities of a good person. “Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God” ( Hebrews 13:16 ). “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them” ( 1 Timothy 6:18 ). It is easy to show mercy to people we like and those in need. However, a person who possesses the qualities of a good person should also demonstrate mercy and kindness to their enemies. “And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, what good is that? Even sinners will lend to their own kind for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate” ( Luke 6:34-36 ).