Hereditary and cultivated traits of character

Some think that tendencies to sin are not sin or they have a false idea that tendencies are in the same category as temptations.

But if the EGW CD Rom  is searched on the subject of hereditary, natural and culativated traits(tendencies) of character one will find out that in many cases Sister White regards hereditary(natural) and cultivated traits(tendencies) of character in the same light as sin.

What each soul inherits

“Each soul inherits certain un-Christlike traits of character. It is the grand and noble work of a lifetime to keep under control these tendencies to wrong. It is the little things that cross our path that are likely to cause us to lose our power of self-control.” {CTr 170.6}

Some traits of character are inherited as a birthright

The men connected with the work of God in the office, the sanitarium, and the college can be accounted safe men only so far as they assimilate to the character of Christ. But many have inherited traits of character that in no way represent the divine Model. There are many who have some defect of character received as a birthright, which they have not overcome, but have cherished as though it were fine gold, and brought with them into their religious experience. In many cases these traits are retained through the entire life. For a time no particular harm may be seen to result from them; but the leaven is at work, and when a favorable opportunity arrives, the evil manifests itself.  {5T 418.1}

Many of them have inherited evil traits of character; and if left to grow up in ignorance, they will drift into associations that lead to vice and crime. These unpromising children need to be placed in a position favorable for the formation of a right character, that they may become children of God.  {AH 167.3}

Shall we cherish them or what?

“Fear lest your will shall not be held in subjection to Christ’s will, lest your hereditary and cultivated traits of character shall control your life. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Fear lest self shall interpose between your soul and the great Master Worker. Fear lest self-will shall mar the high purpose that through you God desires to accomplish. Fear to trust to your own strength, fear to withdraw your hand from the hand of Christ and attempt to walk life’s pathway without His abiding presence.”  {COL 161.1}

“Those who claim to believe the Word of God, and yet cherish their own hereditary and cultivated traits of character, are the greatest stumbling blocks we shall meet as we present the grand, holy truths for this time. Those who believe present truth are to practice the truth, live the truth. They are to study the Word and eat the Word, which means eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. They are to bring that Word, which is Spirit and life, into their daily, practical life. It is the bread from heaven, and it will give life to the world.” Letter 34, 1896. {CTr 247.5}

The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again. . . .  {Mar 237.2}

Tendencies to evil whether hereditary or cultivated should be compared with God’s law

“Objectionable traits of character, whether hereditary or cultivated, should be taken up separately, and compared with the great rule of righteousness; and in the light reflected from the word of God, they should be firmly resisted and overcome, through the strength of Christ. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” [Hebrews 12:14.]  {CE 113.1}

Objectionable traits of character, whether hereditary or cultivated, must be compared with the great rule of righteousness, and then conquered in the strength of Christ. Day by day, hour by hour, a vigorous work of self-denial and of sanctification must go on within; then the works will bear witness that Jesus is abiding in the heart by faith. Sanctification does not close the avenues of the soul to knowledge, but expands the mind and inspires it to search for truth as for hidden treasure.  {CT 449.1}

We have to repent of our defects of character

Our defects of character must here be repented of, and through the grace of Christ we must overcome them while probation shall last. This is the place for fitting up for the family above.  {AH 319.2}

Where do the defects of character originate?

All defects of character originate in the heart. Pride, vanity, evil temper, and covetousness proceed from the carnal heart unrenewed by the grace of Christ.  {AG 223.4}

How does God regard tendencies to wrong?

Please read the third chapter [of Jeremiah]. This chapter is a lesson for modern Israel. Let all who claim to be children of God understand that He will not serve with their sins any more than He would with the sins of ancient Israel. God hates hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong (Letter 34, 1899).  {4BC 1154.9}

Remember, God hates only one thing, and that is sin.

Genuine conversion changes tendencies to wrong

A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. The religion of God is a firm fabric, composed of innumerable threads, and woven together with tact and skill. Only the wisdom which comes from God can make this fabric complete. There are a great many kinds of cloth which at first have a fine appearance, but they cannot endure the test. They wash out. The colors are not fast. Under the heat of summer they fade away and are lost. The cloth cannot endure rough handling.  {Mar 237.3}

The Christian is not to retain his sinful habits and cherish his defects of character; but he is to be renewed in the spirit of his mind after the divine similitude. Whatever may be the nature of your defects, the Spirit of the Lord will enable you to discern them, and grace will be given you whereby they may be overcome. Through the merits of the blood of Christ you may be a conqueror, yes more than a conqueror. . . .  {SD 349.4}

The nearer the Christian lives to God, the more he advances in divine illumination of mind. He has more distinct sense of his own littleness, discerns his defects of character, and sees his duty in the light in which God presents it. The more closely he draws to Jesus, the more he has a near and clear sense of his own defects which had before escaped his notice, and he sees the necessity of humbling himself under the mighty hand of God. If lifted up it will not be because he lifts and exalts himself, but because the Lord exalts him. Having his eye fixed upon the purity and perfection of Christ Jesus, and acknowledging and obeying God in all his ways, he is not blinded to his own failures and imperfections. When his deportment in the eyes of men is unblamable and irreprovable, God reads the intents and purposes of the heart.  {TDG 16.3}

Regeneration is the only path by which we can enter the city of God. It is narrow, and the gate by which we enter is strait; but along it we are to lead men and women and children, teaching them that, in order to be saved, they must have a new heart and a new spirit. The old, hereditary traits of character must be overcome. The natural desires of the soul must be changed. All deception, all falsifying, all evilspeaking, must be put away. The new life, which makes men and women Christlike, is to be lived. 36 {CCh 59.3}

The world needs evidences of sincere Christianity. Professed Christianity may be seen everywhere; but when the power of God’s grace is seen in our churches, the members will work the works of Christ. Natural and hereditary traits of character will be transformed. The indwelling of His Spirit will enable them to reveal Christ’s likeness, and in proportion to the purity of their piety will be the success of their work.  {AG 263.3}

God wants you to let Him manage you, that you may be a lovable Christian. The Lord would have the natural and hereditary traits of character come under the pruning knife. Look steadfastly unto Jesus, that you may catch His spirit and cherish the qualities of Christlike character. Then it will be recognized by all who have any connection with you, that you have learned of Christ His meekness, His affection, His tenderness, His sympathy. Never rest satisfied until you possess a loving and lovable spirit. Your words may come from the good treasure of the heart to strengthen, help, bless, and win all around you…. Others catch your spirit. The seeds we sow will bear a harvest in goodness, patience, kindness, and love, or exactly the opposite. . . .  {TMK 218.2}

Genuine conversion is needed, not once in years, but daily. This conversion brings a man into new relation with God. Old things, his natural temper, natural passions, and hereditary traits of character pass away, and the man is renewed, converted, sanctified. But this work needs to be continued, or else the heart will become estranged from God; for just as long as Satan lives, he will make an effort to carry out his will. The human agent will constantly encounter a strong undercurrent. His heart needs to be barricaded by faithful watchfulness and unceasing prayer, else the embankment will give way, and like a mill stream, the undercurrent of natural and cultivated tendencies will sweep away the safeguard. Then the old objectionable traits of character will assert their sway. No renewed heart can keep in a condition of sweetness and grace without the application of the salt of the word. Divine grace must be applied daily, else no man will stay converted.  {PC 359.2}

“All ye are brethren.” To no one has the Lord given permission to rule over a brother. All need their hearts refined, and cleansed from weakness, from natural and hereditary traits of character. All are amenable to God. If a brother errs in his ministerial work, remember that you have all erred, and shown great want of faith in the Lord. Yet, God has not discarded you, and given you no place to work. Had he done this, his action would have been just as sensible as your action in this case.  {SpM 60.2}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nineteen + two =