Have you ever noticed how two people from the same family can be radically different from one another? Are those differences related to biology (nature) or sociology (nurture)? The answer is probably a combination of both.
But there’s a third factor which can over-ride biology and sociology, and that factor is spirituality.
Jonathan (Saul’s son) was influenced by his father, both biologically and sociologically. Yet, they were noticeably different spiritually.
1 Samuel chapter 14 highlights the differences between Saul and Jonathan. Saul tends to rely on himself more than God, while Jonathan tends to rely on God more than himself. (Compare verse 6 with verse 36.) Saul uses God for his own desires, while Jonathan wants to be used by God to accomplish God’s desires.
Reading 1 Samuel 14 should give us hope. Though we have no influence over our biology (the family we’re born into) and little influence over our sociology (the way our parents chose to raise us), we have a lot of influence over our spirituality. And since our spirituality can over-ride both our biology and our sociology, we have more influence over who we are than we tend to believe. That is the hope we have in Christ. The One who rose from the dead offers us resurrection from our dead ways!
1 Samuel chapter 14 also gives us a warning…don’t be like Saul! It’s so easy to live life on our own strength, trusting ourselves, figuring things out on our own, doing what our logic or emotions tell us to do. But resist that. Instead, live trusting God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and plan. Live more like Jonathan…unsure of yourself and what you can do, but confident in God and what He can do. (1 Samuel 14:6.)